A divided nation

imgresWe are a large nation.  I have been to almost all 52 states.  I believe the one state that I have not been to is Kansas.  The diversity through this country is huge on so many levels from homes to beliefs to food to education to weather to topography to religion.  Some states are so big that the difference in the south vs the north or the east vs the west can be culturally different.

Technology has transformed the world.  It has united us all from one end of the world to another.  We can’t go back just like you can’t give up your cellphone or give up your debit card (well perhaps we won’t even have cash in the future so debit cards will disappear).  We are moving forward as humans always have.  We are an evolving race.

What is the most disturbing thing to me through this Presidential campaign is how divided we are as a nation.  I respect other people’s beliefs and we should all be courteous to each other regardless of where we each stand but somehow in this election there has been such anger and disrespect that is extremely disheartening and scary.  The anger that has reared its ugly head started when Obama became President and I believe that goes straight to the heart of racism.

The chances are insanely high that we will have moved from a black President for 8 years to a female President for the next 4 or perhaps 8.  That is incredible and it is also says that we have moved forward as a nation not backward.  Yet there is such division in this country that is tied to fear of the future.  Fear of a country where everyone is equal, fear of a place where we have a changing work force due to technology, fear of a flat world but the biggest fear is acknowledging and embracing a world where people don’t believe in what they believe in because they look different or come from somewhere different.

We will move forward.  Our country will live differently 10 years from now than we do today. That is reality.  Change always wins and the future looks pretty bright.  We won’t return to the past.  We can agree to disagree but the division in this country is unsettling.  Not sure where we go from here but I do hope that after this election is over that our Government and ourselves take a deep look at some of the past behavior because after all our constitution does begin with the words….WE THE PEOPLE.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Marissa

    this is really great. i agree. we are at peak bully right now (and i’m seeing it from both sides) and it’s not a good feeling. love the last paragraph here

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    I think we are getting close to the tipping point and because of that there is peak anger. The people that like change already embraced it (early adopters), then a big hunk of everyday people embraced the change, now we have the resisters fighting what is already underway. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. Gotham Gal

      interesting chart..

    2. P Donohue

      What happens when the peaks and troughs keep getting increasingly close together as speed dramatically picks up?

  3. awaldstein

    Polarization is our greatest enemy and it is a painful reality.It stuck me hard as I took a few weeks off to look at our country from Europe.http://arnoldwaldstein.com/

    1. JLM

      .Much of the discussion of “polarization” is pure nonsense. Consider the following:1. We are a nation of 320MM people of which 219MM are eligible to vote.2. Of 219MM eligible voters, there are 146MM registered to vote.3. Of those 146MM registered voters, there will be about 125MM actual voters.4. The vote will be close and it will take more than 60MM votes to win.In the end, there will be 60MM voters whose candidate did not win.That is about 19% of the country who will be angry about the outcome of the election.The news — which is apparently an arm of the HRC campaign given recent email revelations — has an interest in misrepresenting the nature of the debate for the benefit of their anointed candidate.While the 2020 election will begin ten seconds after the Inauguration, this is not really anywhere near as polarizing as you or others would paint it to be. In the end, policy will be far more important to our fate than any faux notion of polarization.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. awaldstein

        The fact that as dear a friend as you are, is dismissing my views (and I’m no dummy) as pure nonsense simply because he feels differently is as good an example of the polarization as I can imagine.BTW–I’ll still be glad to buy you dinner my friend. This topic will not be on the menu to discuss.

        1. JLM

          .You misread my comment. I am not saying that your comments are nonsense but rather the meme that the country is so polarized. There are really very few people who either have skin in the game or are really paying attention.When you and I disagree, that is a difference of opinions, not polarization.I will take you up on that dinner. I hope you are well. I enjoyed the travelogue.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks–words matter and it is worth the effort to clarify.This entire election season has been a clarification–by fire honestly–for me.It has taken a conscious effort to remain open, be aware of nuances, to learn from it even though I’ll admit it has been difficult.Trump is everything I despise in an individual so taking the time to not only not support him but to work to bring him down and still remain open to other opinions has been a positive act for me.Traveling was a wonder. I’m fortunate to have friends in very unusual and wonderful corners of the world.

  4. Erin

    Our hearts certainly go out to you guys for what you’ve had to endure these past months; the rhetoric, the hate, the anger- it’s all been emotionally draining, even from up in Canada. Maybe this will cheer you up. It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today, and one of our up and coming chefs is ermm… making a statement in the kitchen, shall we say… https://www.youtube.com/wat

  5. jason wright

    I suspect that the divisions have always been there.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I suspect you are right but they are now more uncivilized..

  6. steve ganis

    A big subject, all the current anger and disillusionment, perhaps/probably justified. May I suggest a read of Yuval Harari’s new piece in New Yorker, regarding the long-running “Liberal Story”–liberalize and globalize political and economic systems to provide paradise on earth– and deep-seated societal reasons for why it’s again under attack, this time exploited by DT: http://www.newyorker.com/bu

  7. Matthew Friedrichs

    Well said. And if you ever want to visit Kansas, holler. Farm-fresh food or small towns or whatever you want to see and experience.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Everyone should visit Kansas at least once.

      1. Gotham Gal

        I promise to get to Kansas.

  8. pointsnfigures

    Thing is, we aren’t really divided on race/gender. We are totally divided on the role of government, the size of government, and the amount of money (and way) government spends on social programs. 65% of the budget. America and the concerns of America are totally different in rural areas than they are in urban areas. One size fits all govt doesn’t work. Public guaranteed benefit pensions don’t work. The cost of current government is unsustainable. Good luck getting people to pay for it.I don’t have a problem with Hillary as a woman. I certainly disagree 100% with her ideas, and abhor her ethics. She is not a role model for my daughters in any way shape or form. I don’t have a problem with Obama as a man. He is actually kind of likable. I have a very different world view and don’t like most of the policies he’s put forward. Based on outcomes, none of them have really worked.

    1. LE

      Hillary is still trying to present herself as the do gooder coed that is often featured in her TV ads showing her at a younger age (with the big glasses). I do believe she was genuinely once like that, but I think now (and for the longest time) nowhere near that person. I think she cares but not anywhere near the degree that she presents herself. Certainly no Bernie not even close. (She really got one over him of course).That’s actually a silver lining in a way. It means that many of the “100% of the ideas” that you (and I) disagree with will never come to pass. Simply because of the people who support her and what she has become.In a way I actually think she secretly is ok with not having a congress that will rubber stamp her agenda. The reason is she can fulfill her public promises of social programs while also not upsetting her private promises to donors etc. Then has an entity that she can point a finger at.What’s strange is that while my wife is against most of what Hillary says she will do (probably near 100%) she is still all in with voting for her! And she was prior to Trump and it has nothing to do with Trump being Trump or a a vote against Trump.Obama is very likable agree on that.

      1. JLM

        .HRC will not get a single bill through the US Congress. Not one.That is the only saving grace of a potential HRC victory, which is, by no means, a two hand dunk shot.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. awaldstein

      Race and gender are much larger items to the majority of people I interact with than the size of the government.We live in different worlds.Which is the sum total message that this shit storm of an election has made me realize. My bubble is large but not the largest one out there.

      1. Gotham Gal

        true true.

        1. awaldstein

          I also belief that–and this is very hopeful–that Trumps attack on women generally will not only destroy his hopes of winning but create bonds cross social stratas, cross races for women everywhere.This is just such unacceptable crap that it has unfurled a torrent of response which I applaud.There is such power in women bonding together to crush this thug.Hopeful about this.

          1. Gotham Gal

            I’m hopeful too but holding my breath until November

          2. awaldstein

            I will know that you are sighing with relief if I am. Scary stuff. A reality wake up call for me. For many I hope.

  9. LE

    Our country will live differently 10 years from now than we do today. That is reality.In all honesty given what Trump has been able to accomplish it actually scares me a bit to see what might be possible 10 or 20 years from now as the country’s makeup changes.

  10. Nick

    52 states?

  11. Donna Brewington White

    For most of my adult life, I have come across people who think that racism has become extinct. The lack of awareness is in part what allows it to exist. People are not confronted by their prejudices and don’t even recognize them. It’s not just race although that’s a big one. As much as I hate some of what I am seeing in our society at least it feels more honest than it has in a long time.If it bleeds you can kill it.

  12. JLM

    .You have been to more states than anyone I know, well, because there are only 50 states.Now Obama thought there were 58, so there is that.<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/emb…” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe>I am sure you will eventually get to all 52. Good luck on your quest.Oh, come on, it humanizes you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  13. johndodds

    Trivial point – is it 52 or 50 states? Are DC and Puerto Rico now included by general agreement? What’s the mdoern convention on this?

    1. Gotham Gal

      I think they should be included

      1. johndodds

        Makes sense to me. I just rarely hear it over here.