"'Cause he's the missing link, the kitchen sink
Eleven on a scale of ten
Honey, let me introduce you to my redneck friend"
Jackson Brown (1973)
I read daily how divided this country is...how it has never been this divided...etc....etc...Yes and no. This country has always been divided, but how much depends on a lot of things. The country was born divided when the framers of the constitution allowed slavery to legally exist. The country was divided during the US Civil War (civil wars in general are sort of the definition of divided). Although slavery was abolished in 1865, the country was divided for another 100 years by a legal "separate but equal" division between the races. Civil Rights legislation in 1965 legally abolished this division, but did nothing to address any social or cultural divisions in this country. So is this country divided? Yes. Is it more divided than ever? Not sure about that yet.
Should We All Just Get Along?
In a nutshell: no. Compromise is not always a good. The founding fathers compromised on slavery and how did that work out for the country? Or...how about if this country compromised on the slavery issue in 1860 in order to avoid a civil war? How would have that worked exactly? Legal and illegal slave states? How about compromise in 1965 over "separate but equal" civil rights? Legal in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi...but illegal in New York, Ohio and Illinois? How would that work exactly? Compromise is not always the solution to deep rooted national problems. Tolerance and compromise on injustice in a country founded on the the principal "that all men are created equal" is abhorrent.
How Bad Is It Really?
Which brings us to 2021 and the perceived existential crisis of yet more division in this country. Is it really that bad compared to the past? What is similar and what is different today? Well, past divisions in this country have been primarily due to race. How were these divisions addressed? A civil war...protests...legislation. I would argue that the root cause of most of this division today is still race. The difference today is that white Americans are divided on how to address it. Let's face it, most white Americans fail to recognize how divided this country was in the past because it did not really impact them. If you were white and living in the north, the fact that a black person had to use a separate bathroom in Georgia in 1959 was unfortunate, but it was a "southern thing". Most white Americans sympathized with the plight of the blacks, but with few exceptions, did not really do much about it. Today, white Americans are torn because they are divided among themselves and unwilling to stay silent like most did between 1865-1965. That's what's different than the past. So because white Americans are divided....now of course it's a "huge" problem. I will acknowledge that this country still has the same racial problems, but the fact that all of a sudden white Americans are divided on persistent social injustice, does not make it worse than the past. It just means that hard individual choices need to be made this time. The government will not do it for you like in the past.
In the past, compromise would have not worked in addressing the issues that divided this country. So why would it work today? I for one will not compromise. Trump and the nativist republicans have a vision for this country that is much different than mine. They derive their moral and financial support from those Americans that voted for them and support their cause. If you agree that 6 January was an insurgency, then to me the solution is pretty simple. Insurgencies derive their support from the people that believe in their cause. Defeating insurgencies requires separating the people from the leaders. I for one will no longer tolerate any people supporting these dopes. I will openly question their choices. Everyone in this country has a right to their choices, however, I don't have to associate with them.