The American Divide

There was a time in the United States of America when the people had a common love of the country. They generally agreed that even though we had problems, we live in a great place with the freedoms, and privileges, and amenities that we enjoy. People understood that the country had serious issues that it needed to work out, but they understood implicitly that in the history of the entire world, going all the way back to antiquity, there has never been a more successful experiment in Governance than the United States. The beauty of America is that the principles on which the country was founded are so upright that in the areas where we did not live up to them, the people had systems in place to make them right. That is why in a world where slavery was the norm, the people were able to force change. They argued that the Judeo/Christian principles that the founding fathers often referenced were not compatible with slavery and other injustices, and so they corrected it.

Unlike in the past where peopl were governed according to the whims of mornachs, and the so called “divine right of kings” superseded the rights of everyone else, America took a different approach. The voice of the people mattered more than the voice of any one individual. Because this experiment has been so successful here, and spread successfully to other parts of the Western world, people mistakenly think that it has always been the norm. Many do not have an appreciation for how blessed we are, and they judge the country based strictly on its imperfections. They measure who we are against a standard of perfection, so that no matter how far we’ve come, no matter how much adversity we’ve overcome; they only see the negative things that ail us. 

It is because so many have been raised to judge the country based on its imperfections that there is no longer that common appreciation of the courntry that Americans once shared. There were always differences of opinion in terms of what we need to do to keep improving as a society, but there was a common bond that people generally had as fellow Americans. Today there is a major political Party whose entire platform is based on villifying the country, and their fellow citizens. At every opportunity they get, they tell us that one group of Americans harbors feelings of ill will towards other groups of Americans, for no other reason than differences in the color of their skin. They tell us that certain groups of young men have to legitimately fear for their lives because America is such a terrible place, and their is a system in place, designed to deny these young men their civil rights, and wantonly take their lives for no other reason than the color of their skin. We hear everyday from this political party and their supporters that the President of the United States is a racist, a white supremacist, and a Nazi. They tell us that the President of the United States hates women, and the reason he was able to get so much support is because the people he appeals to share his ideology of hatred. They have even labeled “people of color” who support the President as white supremacists. It does not matter what time of the day it is, there is a constant barrage of negativity from people who believe that anyone who does not share their vision for the country is by nature a really terrible human being. 

These people think that there is no reason to be proud Americans. They are offended by patriotism. The idea of standing for the national anthem and saluting the flag is offensive to them, and saying the pledge of allegiance is now considered to be insultive to them. Who would have ever thought that, but it is the current reality. Chanting “USA, USA” is a racist “dog whistle” to many, and they shake their heads in disapproval whenever they see or hear what they consider to be such acts of false patriotism. In this present environment, it is absolutely refreshing to have someone in the white house who is a cheerleader for the country, who is not cowered into silence by baseless charges of bigotry. His supporters understand that there are real problems in this country, they also recognize that the country has built in mechanisms to help us overcome the problems that we face as a nation. But most of all they understand how blessed they are to be a part of this great and blessed nation. 

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