The Divided States of America

The divided states of America.  That’s what my friend calls this country.  I’d take it one step further which is the divided people of America. Remember Rodney King when he said, “why can’t we all just get along?”

Jon Stewart said something the other day that I can’t get out of my head.  He has been a tremendous advocate for the responders of 9/11. Stewart told Congress “Welcome to another exciting episode of, ‘When is America going to start acting like the great country we keep telling ourselves we are?’”

Cynthia Nixon wrote that her TV show is a very safe place to work. Her son’s school —not so much. She wrote that the school might check air circulation with a yardstick and toilet paper. Why such a disconnect?

A friend of ours who is from the Netherlands has lived in the US for years.  He chose to raise his daughters here for a variety of reasons.  His taxes in Europe would be around 47% and that includes education, healthcare, and the opportunity for his kids to go to graduate programs.  Here he is paying 43% and education, healthcare, and graduate school is an additional cost. If you think about it, financially it makes sense to stay in Europe.

I listened to the Daily podcast called “What Happened to Daniel Prude“. His brother did what he was taught to do. Call the police when something goes beyond your power to subdue a situation. When he read the hospital records on how his brother died, it read by asphyxiation. He did not know what they meant and had to look it up. The speaks volumes about our education system.

The one thing that Trump has done is amplified the reality of racism, anger, and hatred in this country.  It is painful.  There was a time when we could agree to disagree.  Now many feel entitled to unleash their hatred on others.  These feelings have been under wraps for years. Our country was built on racism and hatred.  300 years later and we have to wonder has anything changed?

How do we change the anger and hate? How do we educate everyone equally? And for our system, a 4% tax delta in the Netherlands to have a healthcare and education system that comes with it sounds pretty good to me.  What does our budget go?  Why aren’t we taking care of our own?  The social inequities in this country are overwhelmingly large. When we take care of ourselves mentally and physically, it is better for all of us.

Look at Boeing who put greed over people.  Look at PG&E in California that created the fires last year because of poor management and short-sighted financial decisions. No wonder we are all feeling such malaise.

The election is less than 50 days away. The narrative is fear. The reality is something very different. I want to be proud of being an American. It isn’t so easy these days.

Our country is huge with countless communities from a variety of different backgrounds and beliefs. It is one thing not to connect or understand those that you have never been exposed to but it is another thing to dismiss them and hate them for no reason but they don’t look like you. Hate is an ugly word.

Is it possible to become the United States of America again? These days I am not so sure.