The recent and ongoing debate regarding the debt ceiling and how to handle the persistent serious economic problems facing Americans has clearly proven that there is a divided America. The language of the debates refers to this divide and the various issues that comprise it. These terms label various people that are divided from others in America by these issues: the millionaires , the middle class, the poor, the employed, the unemployed, the retired, immigrants, illegal immigrants, the “blacks”, Hispanics, whites, the college educated, non-college graduates, public schooled, home schooled, the insured, the uninsured, home owners, renters, those whose homes have been repossessed, the homeless, heterosexual, homosexual, married, civil unions, unmarried, children, youth, seniors, Christians, non-Christians, Jews, Muslims, liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, the Tea Party, Congress, the judiciary, the President, particular state residents, voters, non-voters, local, those who are “free”, those who are “oppressed”, union members, non-union workers, public/governmental, personal/private, lawful, unlawful, constitutional, unconstitutional, and other such terms that specifically denote personal differences between Americans and how they relate to each other.
A battle-worn america, a divided america:
A lot of battles, and even a war and lot of laws have been passed in our efforts to remove some of these issues that divide us, but the differences and their influences still divide us. The civil war did not remove the division in American society that was created by those who who were “free” and those who were “slaves”. It only removed the label of “slave” from some individuals and states. And it took additional efforts of violent and legal action to enable former “slaves” and their descendants to become voters. And we are still trying to learn how to relate to these individuals who are different. And it seems to be apparent that borrowed money cannot enable unemployed people to finance home mortgages or even the purchase of new cars. And it may not even encourage the rich to employ more workers for their products or to avoid the use of foreign “slave” labor to make their products.
“No one left behind” is a nice slogan, but history has proven over and over again that no government or social system has been able to bring all of the individuals under its control to the same standards of living as everyone else in their system. There are always some “poor”, some uneducated, some oppressed, some untreated sick and handicapped individuals, some unemployed, and other categories of individuals who are in one way or another “left behind” or are not able to participate in all of the opportunities that their national society provides. It is really foolish for Americans and our elected representatives to believe that we can eliminate many of these persistent personal differences and issues that divide us by “throwing money” at them or even passing laws against them. They will not go away by such efforts, and such efforts may only strengthen the divisions.
An implemented “debt deal” will not remove the issues that divide us. More debates and legislative actions by our politicians will not bring Americans together for their common good. I don’t believe that there is any “political” solution to this problem. I think that there must be a major reform within American people regarding how they regard each other and what they legitimately can do and should do to help each other in their civic and personal lives. Such a reform is bigger than just deciding the relative merits of “big” government or “small” government and spending cuts or a “fair” tax. And such reform is greatly complicated by our political processes that reinforce procedures and decisions that reward the “majority” even though they may be only 51% of the deciders. A ratio of 51% to 49% does not describe a united America or a united anything. We need a much broader reform within America if we are going to remove many of the issues that persistently divide us from each other!
What do you think Americans in their personal and civic responsibilities need to do to become more united and less divided? What needs to happen outside of the political arena and within it that will implement such personal actions by Americans? Why do you think there is a divided America? Let’s talk about this.