In retrospect, George W. Bush was right when he described himself as a Uniter, not a Divider. He left office after bringing together Democrats and Independents under the banner of "Yes We Can" while Republicans campaigned as if he had never existed.
A year and a half later, the dams of Bush government-in-denial have burst open to flood the political scene with economic and environmental disasters resulting from a Decider who spent eight years decreeing that regulation of anything was wrong, leaving behind an electorate swamped by social wreckage and furiously divided over what to do about it.
Now, the Oil Spill provides only one metaphor for a helplessness that has overtaken the collective pronoun not only in "Yes We Can" but as deeply in the national psyche as "We the people" in the Preamble of the Constitution.
This election year is unfolding with the theme of "Theys" who are responsible for every misery, among them incumbent lawmakers of both parties, ineffectual bureaucrats, rapacious corporations, greedy Wall Streeters and, of course, the man behind the desk with the sign, "The buck stops here."
As the list lengthens to include the children of illegal immigrants and as Tea Party zealots begin to turn on one another, we are close to the wisdom of Pogo: "We have met the enemy...and he is us."
For guidance, today's vociferous patriots may want to pause in their frantic dumping of everything overboard long enough to recall another "we" tenet of the Founding Fathers: "United we stand, divided we fall."