Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is there any end to the anti-Obama anger? I can't even talk politics with my friends anymore

Last but not least, the NY Daily News published on its web site a column I wrote about my concerns about the political polarization that's taken place in our country:

For someone as optimistic and energetic as I am, it's a very strange feeling being totally pessimistic about the future of our country. The political polarization has reached such an extreme that I find that I can't even have a conversation with people who don't share my general political views.

On the rare occasion that I do have such conversations - often with good friends whom I really respect, and whom I think are moderate and thoughtful people - I'm stunned by the vitriol they express toward Democrats in general and President Obama in particular. They genuinely, passionately believe that Obama is a liar, a socialist, a hater of Israel and a terrorist appeaser.

It's nothing short of bizarre and it fills me with despair. If I can't even have talk about politics with good friends, then there's no hope for any kind of unity and compromise in our political system, which we so desperately need given the enormous challenges we face. Instead, I see us going down the road of Kenya (which I'm familiar with because my parents and sister live there), in which politics is tribal and it's kill or be killed (sometimes, literally), and where no tactics, no matter how despicable, are off the table.

We're still a long way from this, of course, but the trend is troubling - and if it doesn't reverse, I fear we are doomed to a future of political paralysis which will lead to stagnation and mediocrity, like Japan in recent decades. We will always be an enormously wealthy country - as Japan still is (it has 10 times the GDP per capita as China, for example) - but if my fears prove correct, we will not be the dynamic, vibrant, inspiring, truly great country we once were.


Is there any end to the anti-Obama anger? I can't even talk politics with my friends anymore

Thursday, September 23rd 2010, 1:30 PM 

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