Kathleen Parker: A Nation United in a Failure to Communicate





[Kathleen Parker is columnist for the WaPo.]

As I was perusing headlines that seem seldom to change -- mosque, immigration, sacred ground, 9/11, more mosque -- an unlikely trio intruded upon my malaise: Paul Newman, Rodney King and John Lennon....

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate" from Newman in "Cool Hand Luke" was first to come to mind. Next was King's "Can we all get along?" after the acquittal of the police officers who mercilessly beat him sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Finally, "Give peace a chance." John Lennon, '69.

I'm not typically attracted to pop-culture wisdom. But why not? Little else seems to be working lately as we sliver ourselves into a thousand shards of blithering self-interest.

Enter current characters in the American tragedy titled, "Screw You, No Screw You."...

No longer e pluribus unum, we are e pluribus pluribus -- mean-spirited and marginalizing. A psychological profile, never more needed than now, probably would reveal an underlying fear that not everyone within our borders is on the same team.

Our fears may not be irrational, but our responses are....

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