It's Us Versus Them

In the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz", there was a song entitled "Us and Them" that played shortly after Dorothy stepped out of her black and white house into the colorful land of Oz. On second thought, the "Us and Them" song was played on the Pink Floyd rock album "Dark Side of the Moon"--the unofficial soundtrack for the first part of "The Wizard of Oz". (Its a Floydian inside thing.)

Anyway, the song title brings out a long held philosophy of most of the American people. "It is us versus them!" Roughly a third regard ourselves (us), and like-minded people, as normal, while considering everyone else (them) as paranoid. Paranoia is "a mental disorder characterized by delusions that are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others." Most of us would agree that someone like Timothy McVeigh suffers from paranoia, among other mental disorders.

Roughly another third regard ourselves (us), and like-minded people, as normal while considering everyone else (them) as naive. Naive is "having genuine simplicity of nature, lacking social or economic sophistication." Little children are naive. They can't take care of themselves, are basically defenseless against manipulation and/or exploitation, and are easily taken advantage of by the rotten unprincipled among us.

This leaves the rest of the population who consider ourselves (us), and like-minded people, as normal, while considering everyone else (them) as paranoid or naive. I would define people who think this way as vigilant--"keenly watchful to detect danger or trouble." Not expecting, but just watchful.

The major disorder I see with American politics today is that we have a strong political party acting like it is trying to capitalize on paranoia and another strong political party trying to convince us all that we are naive. Both parties are very polished at indoctrinating most of the population with their own "us and them" philosophy.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if one of the parties, or "dare I say it?"--a new party, began addressing the concerns of those of us who are vigilant? We are not paranoid, but neither are we naive. We trust some among us, but we don't trust everyone. Its just that we think we have a good sense of who to trust and who we shouldn't trust.

We are not know-it-all elitists, but we are not the "sheep" that the so-called masses are often labeled. We are sick and tired of having to vote as though we are paranoid or naive, every time there is an election. We are told to do so "if you want your votes to count", but count for what?

Let me leave you to evaluate the following opinion of mine: In America, we will continue to see the "party of the paranoid" becoming more and more like the "party of the naive", before either party starts addressing the concerns of the vigilant (as I believe they once both did many years ago). That is because the current leaders and officials of both parties would rather manage sheep than allow their citizens to taste unhindered liberty. (Its an elitist inside thing.)

Without sounding sarcastically paranoid, can I now say, "American fascism--masquerading as democracy--isn't so bad, once you get used to it!"?

Someday, like Dorothy, we (us and them) will walk out of these old black and white houses, we live in on earth, and spend eternity somewhere. (Those who doubt this are the epitome of naive). I hope the colorful land of Oz becomes heavily populated with the paranoid and the naive spirits. They truly deserve each other.

My other hope is that the rest of us can meet somewhere else. Who knows, maybe it will be on the dark side of the moon?

--Kenneth J. Wolf #58 (07/09/97)

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