From this Perch: We have met the enemy and he is us
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.—Winston Churchill.
Sometimes it feels like our political environment is just another television "reality show." It can have that effect.
Actual reality: like a nasty infection, divisiveness continues to spread across our nation.
The great mystics recommended love and union as the bottom line in life, but it seems that we are increasingly turning our backs on that wisdom.
On a practical level, the axiom "united we stand, divided we fall" can be seen as a litmus test on where we are on the unity-division spectrum. Standing united? Wobbling? Falling?
The historian Arnold Toynbee, who spent his life studying the history of civilizations, pointed out that all civilizations eventually disintegrate. There are many reasons, but a major cause is a society's inability to solve new problems. It loses its creativity.
The inability to solve new problems is a byproduct of our increasingly bitter divide.
Like Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
The heads of hostile foreign governments are taking it all in, realizing the deepening divide in America may be their best weapon against us.
And one country, Russia, is doing its best to move our infection in the direction of sepsis (big problem in the medical world) and beyond.
Take it from Christopher Wray, the current Director of the FBI.
A bit of background on Mr. Wray first. In 2003, George W. Bush nominated him (a registered Republican and a long time prosecutor) to be the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. He was unanimously confirmed by the U. S. Senate.
During his career, Mr. Wray successfully prosecuted cases involving securities fraud, public corruption, racketeering, murder-for-hire, arson, bank robbery, gun trafficking, counterfeiting, immigration and others.
You want this guy on your side. He is someone respected by nearly all, if not all. (Exceptions may be the criminals he has successfully prosecuted.)
Following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the current president nominated Christopher Wray to be the successor. The president said this about Mr. Wray:
"He is an impeccably qualified individual, and I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity once the Senate confirms him to lead the FBI."
And the Senate did confirm him, by a wide margin — a bipartisan vote of 92-5.
FBI Director Wray says Russia knows exactly what we're doing to ourselves. Russia spots our divisive issues (take your pick) and then acts to "basically sow divisiveness, spin people up on both sides of an issue and watch us go after each other."
As if we need help in going after each other.
Speaking of Russia, you've probably noticed there are those who call the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt."
FBI Director Wray has a viewpoint on that.
"I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt. I think it's a professional investigation conducted by a man I've known to be a straight shooter."
And yet the man who appointed Mr. Wray, and called him a "fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity," continues to call it a witch hunt.
Russia sees all of this and smiles.