If we had a common enemy, then we wouldn’t be so mad at each other. The problem is good common enemies are scare in a globalized economy. Is China the enemy or the source of our affordable and beloved consumer products?

Osama bin Laden could have been a good common enemy, before he was dead, that is, but we couldn’t stay focused on him. Here was a genuine enemy. But before we could get his whole name out, he was somebody else. Osama bin Saddama Hussein. Wow that was fast! And confusing. And then the enemy was terror, or was it Islam? Or did we elect a Muslim president?

The Soviet Union was a good enemy. Long lasting and well armed. The best thing about the Soviet Union was that they kept saying that they would take over the world and give all the money to the workers. While this turned out to be false on both counts, it had everybody squirming. So we got to build lots of weapons, and we also passed a lot of worker-friendly laws so nobody would get any “ideas” about socialism. And then we won! But with the Soviets gone, all the talk about “winners and losers” switched to economics, and the losers wound up being the workers.