How Divided Are We?

  • I’m not sure how this post is going to go over. But it is a topic I have been thinking about for months. I sincerely believe my viewpoints on this topic are pretty center of the road, but I guess I will find out if I am right or wrong. I don’t discuss politics as it is personal, but I will discuss my belief in our Democracy and the future of our nation, so here goes…..

For many months, we have heard how divided our nation is. How we are entrenched into one side or the other and with an election that just split at almost 50/50 from the outside one would think this is true. But, is it true? Are we as Americans so divided that our commonality is gone?

I contend that “We The People” really aren’t as split as some want to portray us to be. I do however think that we have allowed the fringe of each party to overtake our nation, ensuring that our separations fester.

On one side we have the AOC’s, Bernie Sanders & Nancy Pelosi’s of the world. On the other we have the Mitch McConnell’s, Matt Gaetz’s and Rand Paul’s of the world.

We pit the MSNBC, FOX, AON & CNN viewpoints against each other from the fringe.

But if you think about it, what do these politicians on the fringe and the media all have in common? Money and power.

The media knows these fringe politicians best friend is a TV camera attached to a microphone and can always be counted on for a wacky sound-bite. The media is always willing to give them air-time because it helps further their message, helps hook viewers and makes the media more money.

These politicians know that every time they get in front of a camera it gives them more power, which in turn brings more money into their own coffers.

TV time, fringe politicians, media access and camera time equals money and power. See the problem?

So as I think about some of the issues that supposedly tear us apart, I honestly think that the majority of Americans share much more in common in our beliefs than the media and the fringe politicians want us to believe.

The First Amendment gives us all the right to Free Speech. This Free Speech includes the right to express our opinions through protests; however, does anyone support the rights of people to burn and loot communities or show up at polling locations to intimidate people casting their votes or threatening to kidnap Governors of States that some disagree with? I doubt the majority of Americans agree with any of this, but the fringe from each party digs their heels in, gets in front of sympathetic cameras and makes it seem like we aren’t united in these opinions.

The Second Amendment. Again, I don’t know anyone who wants to take away anyone’s guns. However, if you listen to the political fringes you are going to hear that one side wants to outlaw them and the other side wants us all to have a cache in our homes that can take out a small country. Truth be told, I think most of us believe that we are all entitled to have a gun in our homes, but no one should have the ability to walk into a classroom and shoot up a room full of 2nd graders. Who profits and gains power from this misinformation?

Let’s talk immigration. Every single person reading this is a descendent of immigrants, those immigrants built America. I think we would all agree that the majority of us, are fine with LEGAL immigration. I don’t know anyone who wants to close the borders to everyone, nor do I know anyone who wants to open them up and let anyone and everyone flood into the country, but again, we are separated by the fringe that pits our sensible immigration beliefs from each end of the spectrum.

Have I made my point yet? You see, if We The People were in-power, we would find more commonality than difference. Of course, we would have differences, but I am convinced we would work-out a common ground where we all give a bit and take a bit for solutions that can move us forward.

Where did we lose our power to these fringe extremes, one simple word can sum it up…. apathy. The American people have allowed this division to happen on our watch by not keeping a check on our elected officials and media. I’m old enough to remember when the media and those who represented us in DC could be trusted. Sadly, it seems those days have passed. There’s an old adage, what’s the definition of insanity…. doing the same thing over and over again.

We have allowed insanity to take over our nation in our politics and media. As long as we continue to send the same people back to Washington DC over and over again we will continue to see the same results. And if we continue to support “our” media choice without holding their feet to the fire for truth and not idealology, we are the problem.

America isn’t as divided as some want us to believe. Sure there will always be issues that we will disagree on, but for the most part, we are all on the same side. We want to live in a safe America where every citizen is respected, where we remain a beacon to the world and where the rights of every citizen is honored. We want to be an America that makes life better for the generations to come, where each and every American has the opportunity to surpass the dreams and expectations of those who came before us and where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is available to us all.

I think it’s time that we the people start showing up and letting the fringes know they don’t represent us. We seek common ground with cooperation. It’s time that we the people let the those who want to divide us know that they don’t represent the ideals that built America.

The next time you see, read or hear someone from the fringe, on either side, spewing their hate, think about it. Who gains both financially and in power with those hate filled words? The answer is simple, the ones who benefit are those who gain wealth and power, the media, social media and politicians.

We the people deserve better, but we the people need to take our role back and hold the purveyors of fringe thinking accountable. Vote them out, tune them out and let’s move on as Americans.

Independence Requires Responsibility

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s independence.

The 4th of July is a red, white and blue celebration of national pride that we partake in every year.

In 1776, when our forefathers set out to form a more perfect union, the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence outlined the blueprint for our nation…..

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

As we gather on beaches, lakes, mountaintops and the communities of our land celebrating our Independence, I believe in these words more today than ever; 241 years later, the ideals of our founding fathers still stand.

As a people we are given more freedoms than any other nation on the planet.  The melting-pot that makes America great still stands strong today and while we have not succeeded in every way, I contend that the American experiment is the greatest of all time.

With our independence also come great responsibility, this is where I think we as a people have fallen short.

We live in contentious times, but that contentiousness will not destroy us, if we as Americans will just honor those unalienable rights that we were given.

Our independence requires participation.  If we do not participate in the process how do we make our nation better?

When we lend a hand to those in our community, support the needs of our citizens and become involved in the process that makes our country great, often times we find a kinship with others that may not be seen from the surface.

I have often found that once I get to know someone, our differences quickly disappear and our similarities rise to the surface.  I think it is time that we started celebrating our unique commonality as a nation and stop focusing solely on our different visions.

And it’s time that we stopped concentrating on “beating the other side” and worked for the common good, one that includes compromise from all sides and not just a win at all cost mentality.

However, with this independence that we all partake in, a responsibility is required.

For too long, some in our nation have lived on the backs of others, for true independence to thrive, everyone must do their part.

I don’t think anyone would argue that those hurting in our nation deserve our support, but when able-bodied Americans sit back and live off the hard work of others, the promise of that document signed in 1776 is tarnished.

It’s time that we as Americans, ALL Americans took responsibility and moved us towards that more perfect union.

Hard work is the backbone of our country, that includes arriving on time, staying late and working to the best of our abilities.

Most of us have had jobs that we didn’t love, jobs we felt were beneath us, but with hard work and dedication we can move up and forward finding a place where we best fit into the fabric of America.

Until ALL Americans take their place at the table and help move us forward we will falter.

America is and will always be the greatest nation on earth, some in our nation have forgotten that.  For those people it is time that you step up, bring your voice to the table and your hands to the workforce… participate, for our nation to thrive, we require everyone.

As we gather this weekend, and again on Tuesday to celebrate our nation and our Independence, I hope we will all remember the responsibility we each hold in carrying forward the ideals of America.

It is more than just fireworks and picnics, it is a 365 day a year responsibility to honor our greatness.

Happy Independence Day America!