Years ago James Sire wrote a book called "The Universe Next Door" that evaluates the vastly different world-views people hold in their heads and hearts. When we consider America's war with the world of terrorism and our apparent isolation from the UN, we need to remember that there are radically different views of reality at work. In short, we are seeing worlds collide and compete for mastery of the human family.
Within the US, we are witnessing worlds clash as up to five generations try to understand each other. The Greatest Generation is worried that their sacrifices of the 1930's and 1940's will be dissipated by our present lifestyles and relegated to the ashbin of history. The "I like Ike" community is still wondering why their vision of stability was totally rejected by the Boomers. The Boomers are now in power and discovering that "Question Authority", "Free Love" and other chic 60's and 70's phrases are not enough to hold a Republic together. Gen X and Gen Y are trying to find solace in ever-increasing pleasure or pain. The Millennials are looking for roots and wondering if their parents have left much to work with.
On the world scene, we see a contest for global hegemony between a USA in search of herself, a post-Christian European Community, new superpowers India and China and a resurgent Islamic radicalism determined to bring the world under Shari'a Law.
Historians of the 22nd century will be evaluating the winners and losers of the current global game - if we do not have an apocalypse.
My point in this essay is that simplistic answers to complex issues within the US and around the world must factor in the different "universes" of the parties involved.
What will be the moral underpinnings of the American Republic and the global coalitions in the next generations? Are there any principles that can non-coercively unite our nation and inspire the world?
Let me know what you think - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add your ideas to our community discussion.
Next time: There IS a simple answer to one problem we face