Today, let’s talk about how the disastrous way Obama, Pelosi, Bloomberg and others reacted to Park51/Cordoba House opposition has now ended any chance for compromise or conciliation between the two camps.
Resistance to a proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is not about bigotry or xenophobia; the demonstrated tolerance of Americans during the last nine years belies those unhelpful charges. Rather, the rancor is an amalgam; it is constructed of built-up feelings of anger, powerlessness, indignation and—most potently—disillusioned self-awareness and resentment against ham-handed, disdainful leadership.
Anger alone would be manageable. In our therapeutic culture we know that before a psych patient can get well, he needs to touch a needle to the crux of what is eating at him, like an interior boil-lancing, and sometimes it takes a lot of roundabout discourse and venting to locate it. Until the thing is touched upon, though, there is no chance of healing, just a general sense of disease, failure, and hurt.
We could find it, lance it, and start healing. But America is are being told—by the very people who have spent decades promoting the primacy of “feelings,” over thought, and who have declared that “a feeling is neither right or wrong”—to shut up, to not express its feelings, to not even have feelings, because those feelings are bad, stupid ones that are very, very wrong.