The Two Americas in 2016
We always thought about our country as one nation. Ever since the founding of America, we are one government, one culture and one language and one sovereign nation. Even though we are made up of immigrants from all over the world, at the end of the day, we are all Americans. After, this election, it seems no more.
- Dec. 2016
I hate to admit it but it is true. Our nation has changed for the worse. We are no longer one nation under God... The differences are more fundamental than I wanted to believe. For example, in the past, our nation even though having two major political parties, were always united when dealing with foreign affairs. Our differences though many, stop at our borders. In the past, when we are at war, regardless which party is in power, the people and our representatives supported the President in dealing with foreign affairs. When did it changed?
I believe it started with the Iraq war. In the beginning, it was supported by Congress overwhelmingly. After the inital success, and the topling of Saddam, things were fine. Until the war started going south, and the occupation dragged on and some in the Democratic party started abandoning ship. With the help of the liberal press, they turned the people slowly but surely against the war. We were a divided nation. It lead to the election of Barack Obama as the anti war candidate.
It did not stop there. We became divided on a slew of issues. From immigration, to entitlements to climate change and to healthcare, we as a people saw things very differently.
Where are the Divide?
You can pretty much determine where people fall politically by certain attributes. Let me give a few examples.
- The news sources.
- Clubs and associations
Why is this Bad?
This divide is real. It means we, as a group, are not communicating on the same wave length. We are hearing a different messages and watching different shows and gathering at different clubs. It means we have lost a coomon culture and heritage.
It is OK to disagree on issues and even on solutions. It drives debate and create better solutions. However, when we are disconnected to the point of missunderstanding each other, that is a bad sign. It also will create distrust. We impugn motives which may or may not exists. We create false narratives and "fake news" trying to gain advantage. We create caricatures of the opposition which detracts from the real differences.
On Foreign Policy
Since 2000, our country has embarked on two very different foreign policy. First, under President Bush, we tried nation building in Iraq, it failed. Second, under President Obama, we tried leading from behind. It failed too. Perhaps, we should take a lesson from the history books from 1980s, under President Reagan. the policy of peace through strength, and trust but verify... seemed to worked beautifully.
In 2016, America is at a crossroad. We have a divided country. Elections are so close, we have only a few percent difference between the winner and the loser. I don't know what the answer is but we do need to change. We cannot continue this path to destruction where one party sabotages another for personal gain and at the expense of our nation.
Our elected leaders are not responsive to the people who voted for them. That is the very nature of Democracy. Our system is partially broken. There is a correlation between our well being as a nation and our government and how it functions. I hope we will united as a nation and fix this divide. We can start by going back to our roots and keep our differences at the border. We need a strong President who has the undivided support of our countrymen when it comes to foreign policy. The world will be a safer place and a more peaceful place when we lead. That is our destiny.