Thursday, October 04, 2018

Will Our Deep Divide Doom America?

It seems everywhere we look today we see signs of the deep division we have allowed to foster in our country. It’s near inescapable as time and again we see counter protesters step in to prevent rallies by people with views different than theirs.

They claim to be “anti-Fascists” but rely on the tenets of fascism to break up rallies supporting free speech.

Although in Canada, recently a woman suffered a roundhouse kick on a public street simply for not agreeing with a person’s point of view.

For the past few weeks we have witnessed what can only be described as a circus over the nomination of D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court being vacated by retiring Justice Kennedy, several Kavanaugh protesters being arrested for their egregious activities aimed at elected officials offices as Georgia Senator David Perdue urges Republicans to “fight back against paid protesters.”

Differing points of view is not new to us in the United States, our constitution was the result of some real knockdown, drag out fights that as I have read, threatened to derail the founding of our country. But the founders were able to compromise to create the country we know today that has granted more freedom and liberty to citizens than any before it.

But the division seen today borders on pure hatred of fellow citizens for disagreeing with ones views on any number of matters and has resulted in violence at times.

President Abraham Lincoln, two years prior to the outbreak of our Civil War quoted from the Bible, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” words that stand as true today as back then as history records the bloody conflict that saw “brother against brother” as families chose sides only to be ripped apart by the fighting.

Likewise, asked about what form of government the founding fathers settled on, Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “A republic, if you can keep it,” essentially indicating it would be up to future generations to keep and protect the government and country they established for us.

To this end we see many political pundits and media personalities proclaiming the country is either just as divided or even more divided then during the time of the Vietnam War as the country was embroiled in riots and college protests.

Whether we are or not isn’t as important as those promoting that same view are all too often also the very ones driving the wedge between the people in the country as left or right, people are once again choosing up sides.

We see a willing media praising one side, but condemning the other when they do pretty much the same thing.

As we saw after the 2000 election, once again the media seem dead set in unseating the winner of the presidential election with biased reporting, which Trump freely accommodates by feeding them all of the ammunition necessary to trash him on a daily basis, unlike their coverage of the previous occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama.

We see it from academia as too often conservative thought is ridiculed and conservative speakers shunned or even banned on campus, too many professors teaching what to think instead of how to think as minority groups seem to prefer returning to segregation on campus with their “safe zones” where contrary words or thought isn’t permitted.

This when education is paramount to keeping the Republic given us by our founders, Thomas Jefferson warning, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was-and never will be.”

Accurate history and civics courses seem to take a back seat today to social issues and indoctrination of our youth as some have no idea of why previous generations fought Fascism, Nazism and even Communism across the globe, when the Civil War was fought or even who the current leaders of the country are.

The very Berkeley campus that saw the birth of the ‘free speech movement’ in the 1960’s today faces demands of inclusion of views considered offensive by today’s students and many faculty.

Yes, we definitely are a “house divided against itself” as left or right, factions fight to have their views prominent over the other while a large number of us are stuck somewhere in the middle and others just pull the covers up over their heads hoping it all goes away someday.

Will we ever be able to overcome this deep divide before our country self destructs?

If so, how?

Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know is that neither side has all of the answers, never did, never will. The fringe factions from either side can only provide us with tyranny as each would struggle to maintain their control if they ever took complete control of the country, the goal of each side I believe, to be the prominent power in the country and keep it however they had to.

Over the past year I did make a small attempt at bridging the divide by a small facebook group that invited both sides in to discuss issues and seek some middle ground. Sad to day, that effort seems to have fallen by the wayside as it seems there is little interest in meeting towards the middle currently.

I also participated in a national interview pertaining to our deep divide last October that I had assumed also fell by the wayside, but was recently told will be broadcast online sometime in the middle of this October.

The project is interviews across the country of ordinary people from both sides on our views of this division and how we each handle it and hopes for an end to the deep division.

One point I remember expressing was while leaders of both parties struggle and fight for partisan control, there is a whole country falling apart out here.

It should be upon them to break this deep division, but as we see with the Kavanaugh debacle, they are only interested in deepening the divide for partisan control, the hell with the citizens and our well-being.

So it falls upon us, you and me to fight the divide and return to the days of respectful disagreement and where possible, compromise for the good of all, not just one party.

The United States of America is a precious gift bestowed upon us. No, it’s not perfect, but it is our home and we should appreciate this gift by pulling together to save it from falling apart

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” - John F. Kennedy

No comments: