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Karen Owen's op-ed column on the insanity of politics in America.
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By Karen Owen
There is still much that is right about our country, of course. The strong legacy of our Founding Fathers, our many freedoms, and our capacity to truly work together when push comes to shove may yet sustain us. Most of the world's population would kill to live here. But there's a nagging feeling that this may be a country whose best times are behind it, as happened with other great empires in history.
I contend that a big part of our problem is that we're driving ourselves crazy--literally--by our obsession with politics, Internet "communication," and a consuming belief that "I'm right, and you're an idiot!"
On top of that, we seen to have ceased to recognize--or even care about--truth. A quote attributed to Karl Rove says it best: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." If we're told a whopper by a politician or a blogger, and it appeals to our sensibility, we think of it as gospel. No questions asked. Worse than that, should we find ourselves corrected, we automatically shake our heads.
Perhaps our outlook would improve if we paid attention to our hearts, read a novel, or listened to a bit of cheerful music. Chat with a neighbor over the backyard fence, or experience a day away from the home computer or television talk shows. Share a meal and conversation with friends or family.
But we could also remember that whoever is elected will be our president. We should support him or at very least give him a chance. That was once the American way. Otherwise, all the happy music in the world will not soothe our fevered brows. I confess that I'm already bracing myself for that eventuality.
Karen Owen is Viewpoints editor