Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Divided States of America

There is a fundamental divide between many Americans.  This goes deeper than who is president at any time.  It goes to how we see our country; what we think it should represent; and how to accomplish much of what we want.  Since its inception, Americans have been able to navigate these stormy waters without sinking, but recent events put this in question.

On the left, Americans see a big tent welcoming those of other nationalities, gender preferences, races, and economic status. They see a strong federal government regulating industry for the good of the people over the tycoons’ economic welfare.  They want education and healthcare to be available to all at a cost that is affordable.  They believe in separation of church and state and see harm when that wall is weakened.  They are often the college-educated, less religious, and more mobile in society.

On the right, Americans see a country that needs to protect itself from those outside.  This includes both foreigners/immigrants and domestics who are not like themselves: not white, not Christian, not straight.  They see more value in states’ rights, preserving unto themselves the right to determine what happens in their localities.  They believe strongly in the power of prayer and God and strive to keep this value front and center in all things private and public.  They believe everyone gets what they deserve and work for and nothing more.  They are often rural, more rooted to their homes and less educated. 

Like siblings, each group has carved out an area that they view as theirs alone.  The left touts the benefits of science and education; the right relies on faith and family.  Yet neither is the sole purview of either.  For scientists and teachers have families they love and things in which they believe and farmers rely on both science and education for their agricultural advances.  Everyone gets sick.  Everyone gets old.  Misfortunes fall on left and right equally. 

This America has a code put in place at its unlikely founding.  It is not an infallible tome, rather it is a living document that reflects both the wisdom of our founders and the changing needs and moral compass of its citizens. Our Constitution has served us well and we ignore it at our own risk. 

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