We tell ourselves a tale in America, and you can read it in Latin on the back of a buck: E pluribus unum. Many people from many lands, made one in a patriotic forge. And there's truth in that story — it conjures powerful pictures in the theater of our national mind. But it can also be misleading. Lots of Americans can't stand one another, don't trust each other and are willing — even eager — to believe the worst about one another. This story is as old as the gun used by Vice President Aaron Burr to kill his political rival Alexander Hamilton. And it's as new as the $1 million–plus in fresh campaign contributions heaped on Republican Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina after he hollered "You lie!" at the President during a joint session of Congress. Anger and suspicion ebb and flow through our history, from the anti-Catholic musings of the 19th century Know-Nothing Party to the truthers and birthers of today.Apparently Alternet liked the article even less than I did.
We're in a flood stage, and who's to blame? The answer is like the estimates of the size of the crowd in Washington: Whom do you trust? Either the corrupt, communist-loving traitors on the left are causing this, or it's the racist, greedy warmongers on the right, or maybe the dishonest, incompetent, conniving media, which refuse to tell the truth about whomever you personally happen to despise.
But we can all agree that — no matter where it comes from — rubbing the sore has become a lucrative business.
Salon has an interesting article about "the man who changed Glenn Beck's life."