It's that time of year again. Congress is on its lengthy August recess, and candidates have only a few months until the November elections. Just shy of the coveted midterms, both Republican and Democratic politicians will undoubtedly up the ante during these few weeks of downtime. But as we all clearly witnessed last year, it's the GOP and Tea Party that readily pull out the age-old guaranteed weapon of choice: fear mongering. In the past, it's been everything from homophobia to health care to socialism to abortion rights and all in between. The one subject however that consistently delivers without fail is the right's wedge issue of this 2010 election: Islamophobia.
We are living in precarious and dangerous times. The economy remains unstable, joblessness is continuously skyrocketing, development is stagnant and unpredictable circumstances around the world are exacerbating the fears of many. But what is also quietly bubbling underneath the surface is a far more treacherous and detrimental push for a shift in American psychology that in effect undermines the core principles upon which this great nation was founded. It is the concerted, conscious effort to stoke the qualms of many with a great divide that is once again pitting ‘us’ against ‘them’. Except this time, the ‘them’ could virtually be you, me or any one who slightly looks as if he/she doesn’t belong.