By Graham Glover –
After listening to the last two weeks of political rhetoric, one might conclude that we are a divided nation. And that conclusion would be more than accurate.
Our nation is divided. Deeply divided.
The ideas, images, platforms, and personalities that the Republicans and Democrats offered in Cleveland and Philadelphia are as fundamentally different as any as I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. I didn’t live through the upheavals of the 1960s, but I think we are even more politically divided today. I’d argue that Americans have not been this divided since the Civil War.
On the one hand we have the Donald, who claims that he and he alone can make America great again. On the other is Hillary, the supposed agent of change, to what, I’m still not sure, even though she’s been running for this office for the past 10 years. The narratives about the state of our nation that these two candidates offer could not be any more different. One thinks literally nothing is good in America, the other seems incessantly blind to the sufferings that millions of Americans continue to endure.
Americans just aren’t Red or Blue anymore, those characterizations would be too kind. We are either fully committed to the bombastic cult of personality of Trump or fully With Her (to say nothing of those that are equally committed to and fully behind the candidate that opposes the other).
We’re still 97 days from the election and I’ve never seen such hatred and anger among the candidates, campaigns, or supporters. And it’s only going to get worse. Much worse.
So yeah, America is divided. We’re deeply divided.
But despite our division, despite our differences, I still think that at our core, Americans remain united. What unites us? Only one thing: the idea of America.
We obviously have fundamentally different visions of what this America should look like, what ills her, and what we should do to continue her preeminent place in the world. But Americans love America. We like what America is and represents – an imperfect Republic to be sure, but the best one history has ever known.
Perhaps this is why this campaign has been so divisive – Americans think that we are fighting for the very heart and soul of who we are. I know we hear every 4 years that “this is the most important election in our lifetime.” But maybe this year that refrain actually means something. Maybe our nation truly is at a crossroads, with two diametrically different paths for us choose between.
Yet still, no matter how bad it is (or we think it is), who we support (or will never support), or what we will hear these candidates espouse over the next 3 months, Americans of all varieties continue to unite around America.
Red, Blue, Trumpite, or Hillaryite, we continue to look at our nation as a “shinning city on a hill”. We all still believe in a place called “hope”. Despite our differences, our nation remains filled with “a thousand points of light” and when confronted with hardship our people continue to proclaim: “Yes, we can”!
I know we are divided people, but I also know that this nation is the best thing going. Like you, I believe in America, and if anything can continue to unite us a people and a nation it is just that – our commitment to and faith in an idea born over 240 years ago – an idea that is called the United States of America.