Jews remain one of the most liberal groups in American society. And although concern about Israel's security has pushed some of them to the right, the majority have supported the peace process, including the efforts of President Clinton late in his term to bring about an agreement with the Palestinians. During and since those years, however, the two Jewish organizations with the most influence on foreign policy have had leaders who are far more conservative and hard-line than are most American Jews.
A quiet but profound revolution is taking place in suburban America, affecting the way people there think about government, taxes, property rights, the free market, and the idea of community itself, and it is being sparked by that most mundane of phenomena: the traffic jam.
Last year, during a visit to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, I got a firsthand look at the underside of globalization. Located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, Juárez is home to more than 400 plants known as maquiladoras. Here, workers assemble parts sent by foreign companies--mainly U.S.-based corporations--for subsequent export. Most of the plants are located in industrial parks guarded by tall metal fences that insulate them from the grit and tumult of the surrounding city. The maquiladoras provide tens of thousands of jobs, helping to give Juárez one of Mexico's lowest unemployment rates.
"This is a different kind of conflict," said General Richard B. Myers,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a Pentagon briefing in October. He was
speaking of the war on terrorism. "The closest analogy would be the drug war."
Since September 11, comparisons between the two wars have been rife: Both are
said to involve an elusive and resourceful enemy capable of inflicting tremendous
damage on the United States; both are cast as a long, drawn-out struggle that
requires concentrated efforts on multiple fronts; and both are led by a powerful
"czar" authorized to knock heads, challenge budgets, and mobilize resources.