And Continue To Stand Divided
We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo
American democracy is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. And we the people are the enemy of a united America today. It is interesting that the Pogo quote is over 50 years old. This shows that this is not a new issue. A dictionary definition of divided describes America today. Divided: Being in a state of disagreement or disunity; Moved by conflicting interests, emotions, or activities. And I would add, beliefs and behaviors.
We have a country of conflicting beliefs and behaviors. And maybe we always have and always will. American democracy was originally divided into to two political parties; a two part tribal system. Tribalism defined: A strong feeling of identity with and loyalty to one’s tribe or group. Andrew Sullivan explained how this makes decision making easy: All you need to know on any given subject is which side you’re on.Much is being written about tribalism today. Myside bias prevails.
Long Division: How and why we stand divided
- A two party system of competing tribes.
- Red and Blue states. Right and left politics.
- Democrats represent a majority of America’s voters but Republicans dominate geographically.
- Fear and loathing as powerful campaign tools.
- Identity politics continues.
- The suppression of minority voting rights.
- White supremacy. Gender bias.
- Deal-making, working with the other side, does not exist.
- A divided country of ideological ghettos(Orin Hatch).
- Liberal and conservative voters. Liberal and conservative judges.
- A crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity that is built around us and them(Barack Obama).
You can probably add to the list. To overcome being divided, we need to become inclusive, interconnected, united. This is where we need a collective worldview that is open-minded and inclusive. That has been a goal of all my writing. I wonder now if tribalism eliminates open-mindedness and inclusiveness. Science has been telling us: Everything is interconnected to everything in an unbroken wholeness. Doesn’t that mean that us and them are interconnected? We the people are not interconnected.
I have met the enemy and it is tribalism. Jon Udell
Here is my tentative conclusion (with some positive uncertainty). Today’s divided America is not new; it is an expansion of past divided America. America was divided in the beginning and will be divided in the future. America is still the country I love. I just don’t think we should pretend the United States of America is united.