Enemy or Competition?

I recently had a long conversation with a friend about Election 2008 and found myself wondering why it is so hard to have a non-passionate conversation about the candidates. It reminded me of a time when I was working at AT&T and a co-worker referred to Sprint as "The Enemy". It took me aback and I corrected her by saying that Sprint was our competition and not our enemy. I told my friend about that conversation and he said that he wasn't too sure that some candidates.. one in particular.. wasn't an enemy of the USA. I was floored by this response and have been wondering about it.

I think that there are a few factors that have led to this kind of us versus the enemy kind of thinking. I think that the first factor is all of the vitriol spewed by Squawk Radio and TV talking heads. Many of these folks demonize people who disagree with them as evil.. especially candidates. They see the world in black and white terms and have little tolerance for people who identify in the shades of gray. People who listen to them seem to mock their behavior.

The second factor (IMO) is isolationist living. Few people seem to be genuinely interested in their diverse neighborhood these days. Consequently they tend to hang around people who tend to think more like them. Conservative Christians are notorious for this kind of isolationism as they are sometimes encouraged from the pulpit to think in black and white terms - in all parts of their lives. I think that other groups do the same.. voting for the candidate that they can most identify with.

Lastly I think that a skewed view of capitalism has to be factored into the dialog. Special interests have over the years had a devastating affect on our government causing our elected officials to act in ways that dishonor the offices they hold. I believe that this kind of pressure from special interest groups drive candidates to get nasty in their political ads often saying that they were not responsible for the content of nasty TV spots funded by cloaked special interest groups.

What do you think? Do you view some candidates as your enemy or an enemy of the USA? Do you agree with my assessments or do you have a different perspective?


  1. Would it be inaccurate to describe someone who supports the indiscriminate killing of a society's members in the order of around 1 million per year as an enemy of that society?

  2. I think you've hit the nail on the head with this post. I am opposed to abortion, as is Casey. However, I am not convinced that voting in a "conservative" candidate will inevitably lead to a change in the law (judges don't always vote the way we think they will, even when they are considered 'conservative.' History shows.) And if the law was changed, I am not convinced that would change people's minds on abortion at this point (after it was so successfully, yet ridiculously, tied to women's right).

    You cannot legislate a change of heart. We just end up with a Christian version of Sharia law. That's not the kingdom that Jesus came to bring. He didn't deliver the Jews from the Romans, He delivered them from another kind of oppressor. I will never look to the politics to solve spiritual problems. (I believe that's the mistake the Israelites made when they got Saul: "Give us a king!") I will never vote on one single issue - because injustice takes many forms (I think all God's children have value, Iraqi and Iranian lives as well as the unborn). I have to weigh these things out. I pray God give us all great wisdom!

  3. Changing people's hearts is important, but if we really believe that abortion involves the slaughter of innocent human beings, then our first priority ought to be saving those lives and not trying to convince people that the lives are worth saving.

  4. I try hard not to view anyone as "other", let alone enemy. I don't see conservatives as my enemies. I disagree with their positions but I try to see the deeper thing that connects us all. If I can apply this principle to those who are trying to kill us (Islamafacsists), certainly I can apply it to people who hold different political views. We're all Americans and basically we want the same things. We just have different ideas of how to go about obtaining those things.


  5. I agree with your take Brian:

    "We're all Americans and basically we want the same things. We just have different ideas of how to go about obtaining those things."

    There is so much that binds us together as Americans.. it is sad how we sometimes buy into the polarizing rhetoric and focus on the things that seperate us instead of those things that unite us.

  6. I agree with you that we should do all we can to defend and protect babies in the womb Casey.

    I have been pro-life for over 30 years and have consistently been "played" by politicians who really had no power to do anything about abortion and actually did nothing. None of these folks have brought forth legislation or used much presidential power to defend life in the womb. I am convinced that if these folks were as pro-life as you are then something would have been done to at least elevate the debate.

    So I submit that what we have been doing has not done much for unborn babies. Maybe we need to think about doing something different.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Albert Einstein.

  7. Get me into Congress, and I'll do something about it... ;)

  8. Have a look at the following story and tell me whether you think there will be more or less abortions if Obama is elected:


  9. "Would it be inaccurate to describe someone ... as an enemy of that society?"

    Yes, it would.

    I think looking at people who are members of other parties (unless we're talking the Nazi Party here) as your enemies is short sighted at best and utter stupidity at worst. Whether Obama is pro-abortion or merely pro-choice (yes I see a difference) and whether he wins the election or not, he is no more McCain or America's enemy than he is a Muslim and vice versa. Ultimately they'll have to work together on some level. So opponents, yes, enemies no.

    Personally I agree with Bob. The candidates aren't actually going to do anything one way or another on this issue. They want your vote and will say or do whatever it takes to get it. Cynical? Sure, but largely true even of Obama.

    "our first priority ought to be saving those lives and not trying to convince people that the lives are worth saving."

    You cannot do one without the other. Make abortion illegal (if you can) and people will still have abortions. Fewer will, but you can't eradicate it without convincing the people that are having them that having them is wrong. And I would love to hear your plan for eradicating them Casey.


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