I must write about our “disunity crisis” so much in the news. Jim Nowlan’s recent column on the matter that was a masterpiece. He is insightful and knowledgeable. He suggests the disgruntled right are distressed about long-standing trends that have eroded our county. These include endless wars, out-of-control spending, jobs overseas and increasing crime. Some of my conservative friends are not that keen on Trump, but he is the only political leader that seems to share their sense of despair and so they stand by him. Many of my liberal friends share many of the same concerns Jim associates with the right. Maybe it is only the fringe left and right that are dividing the country. Maybe a middle ground does exist.
Another recent letter by Donna Davis queried why the American government always seems bent on having some kind of military pursuit somewhere in the world. She also notes the incredible sums of money these excursions have cost and what some of that money could have done to benefit us at home. I have liberal and conservative friends that share her dismay. Donna points out that President Eisenhower warned of these events in his impassioned farewell address to the nation in 1961. He said a powerful class of people had arisen in the new more modern military industry and that they could steer the country into a state of continual war if allowed.
Eisenhower was no fan of war. He wanted to see America wield influence by helping countries with aid, and thereby forge alliances through peaceful efforts. In 1958 he invited 1,200 of the most important people in the country to discuss his Foreign Aid Mutual Security Plan. Some agreed, but many opposed. In the end, Eisenhower said, “the opponents to mutual security seem to be saying billions for armaments, but not one cent for peace.”
The Cold War soon followed, as did the many conflicts he foretold. China seems to be our next bogeyman. No wonder so many, right, or left, are in despair. But we are so outgunned by the people we were warned about. Their control is so sweeping and sophisticated today that it can be hard to see it at work.