A Nation At Crossroads

Internal conflict is at the forefront of American politics and culture. Will the nation survive?

By Martin Falbisoner - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28253642

Since Donald J. Trump became part of a very out of touch, predominantly white, and completely male history as the head of the executive office of the United States of America, the nation has only become more polarized. Despite the best intentions of national heroes like James Madison and George Washington to create a national atmosphere in which all views were welcome and no one narrative could dominate the rhetoric, the American government has become a two party system in which most issues are black and white and anyone who dares to see gray faces nearly certain replacement.

This lack of gray in domestic and international politics creates a society that refuses to listen to each other; a society that only becomes more and more entrenched in its waring beliefs instead of searching hopefully for common ground. And, without such essential common ground, there can be no compromise.

While most of Congress’ votes are not eye catching, the visible votes can almost always be predicted, their outcomes functionally certain as few representatives are willing to face the wrath of the establishment by crossing over to the dark side.

To further complicate modern, American politics, there is the small issue that the two legislative chambers are currently controlled by different parties who cannot agree on what comprises a fact much less on complicated issues such as gun rights that involve philosophical debates on the founders’ intent versus societal necessity and changing eras. And, gun rights are only the beginning of an overwhelmingly long list of issues facing our divided nation: abortion, health care, taxes, the international community, immigration, climate change, judicial philosophy, economical interests and civil liberties to name a few.

As frightening as it is to watch our elected representatives forget the rules of sharing that were learned in elementary school, it is perhaps even more frightening to realize that as our government indulges in numerous conflicts, each decision we the people make has the opportunity to fundamentally change not only our way of life, but also how we interact with the world as a whole.

Our leaders would have you believe that it is a choice between right and left, between elephants and donkeys. However, perhaps the more pressing fork in the road is instead the choice between a nation that sees only black and white or a nation that sees gray.