We have had a long history together, we’ve been through a lot, both good and bad. But maybe it’s time we break up.
The polarization of America has become extreme and is beginning to tear the nation apart with its divisiveness. The coastal areas with their Liberal ideals are at direct odds with middle America ideals. I am beginning to believe there is no reconciliation possible between these two groups, their belief systems are just too different from each other to find common ground where one or the other doesn’t feel attacked, belittled, condemned or castrated.
Maybe it is time for this political experiment to end, split the country up and go our separate ways. The alternative is to risk another civil war that will ultimately destroy us both.
We have reached peak-hatred of one another. We lash out at one another, condemn one another, berate one another, mock one another, we do everything except have respect for one another. This behavior is being strongly exhibited on both sides of the spectrum. The right calls the left “socialist snowflakes” and the left calls the right “fascist morons”. Does anyone honestly think there is anything left to salvage?
Dr. Gottman who works counseling people in relationships have developed an interesting litmus test to tell whether or not a relationship will survive. Dr. Gottman will observe the communication styles of a couple and look for four key indicators to make his assessment. Does the couple’s communication involve: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling? If so these are bright red flags that the relationship in its current form is most likely going to fail. If we apply this principle to our larger society and look at how the left and right sides of the political spectrum communicate with one another, all the indicators of failure are present. We criticize the opposition party, we have utter contempt for them, we refuse to look at our own shortcomings and dig into our established positions becoming even more calcified and dogmatic, and finally comes the complete breakdown where we refuse to communicate with the other side at all.
There is no compromise here, neither side is willing to give ground in this battle for fear that giving an inch will cause the other side to take a mile. Reason has departed the hallowed halls of our society; we are rotting from the inside out.
Maybe it is time to end the United States as we know it and go our separate ways. As sad as that sounds, there is no succor, joy or happiness in our current situation, only massive dissatisfaction, arguments, hard feelings, and hatred. If this ongoing situation isn’t checked it threatens to boil over into real violence. Please, someone, prove me wrong.
Conservative media (and the 45th POTUS) refer to liberal, coastal people as “snowflakes” and “crybabies”, and proceed to stomp on everything the left has worked hard to build. The left has spent a lot of time slinging around terms like “racist” and “fascist” and villainizing conservatives by mudslinging while claiming the moral high road. How can these two extremes be reconciled? They can’t. The divide is too great, the difficulties are immense.
The apparent solution to me is to end the charade. The only way for people to be happy with their government is for their government to implement systems that reflect the belief systems of the people. Both sides are attempting to do this at the cost of the other. Conservatives profess a belief in the sanctity of life and desire to end the practice of abortion, while Liberals profess a belief in the right for a woman to make choices for herself without input from the state or society. Liberals won a victory over conservatives with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case, and now in retaliation, President Trump has announced his intentions to gut Roe v. Wade, and he and his allies in Congress have paved the way for stacking the Supreme Court with conservative justices so that they might overturn that ruling. Is there middle ground there? I don’t see it if it exists.
In his excellent book “Finite and Infinite Games”, James Carse discusses the American civil war and makes the point that even in war there are rules to the game, and he makes a convincing argument that the civil war was, in fact, never actually concluded. Carse argues that in Sherman’s march to the sea, his wanton destruction carved a path through the south and caused so much sheer spiteful destruction, suffering, and death that the South never conceded the loss and still nurses a grudge that lies simmering just below the surface.
America is divided. We are the Divided States of America. If the midwest wants to create a Christian-conservative mecca that abolishes abortion, opens national parks to oil drilling and mining operations, that teaches creationism instead of evolution, that enforces Christianity and prayer in the halls of government and other public institutions, I say let them. Let them create their theocratic paradise, and let them live with the consequences of those decisions. Let them have their bliss. If the west and northeast coastal populations want to create a progressive liberal utopia with clean air, beautiful natural spaces and green technology, I say let them. End this endless bickering, just break apart already. The alternative is a long nasty decline into mediocrity.