We are going through hard, sad times in our beloved nation. Unemployment won’t go down, lots of small businesses are really struggling, people are scared for the future.
Although deeply concerned, I have not been scared, believing that Americans are Can Do people and that we will pull out of this. I still believe that, but I am becoming more anxious–because I am watching unreasoning hate fill the air. The hate is a sign of just how scared people are, especially when leaders choose to fan its flames.
Hate is the single most dangerous threat to our national well-being, indeed our national security. It always has been and always will be–because hate undermines our fundamental values as an open society that values all people, all faiths (and no faith), all nationalities and ethnicities and colors, and cares for the most vulnerable among us and understands that building people up is always preferred to tearing them down. Our people are our most important resource.
Leaders who are fanning the flames of hatred of Muslims–including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former New York Mayor Rudolf Guiliani, not to mention Rush Limbaugh–and many others–are endangering our national security.
This is especially true because the anti-Islamic rhetoric plays right into the hands of those terrorists who claim America and Islam are in a holy war. Nothing hurts the work of General Petraeus, our brave troops, and our diplomats–and all the non-governmental organizations working along side them in Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia and elsewhere–to combat the scourge of terrorism more than what these leaders are saying.
Most of the time I choose to believe the best about people, even people with whom I strongly disagree. I try never to become cynical about people’s motives. But, it is growing difficult for me in regards to these and other leaders.
I hope I am wrong about them–because our national security is not a game.