Politics in America remains a touchy subject, but for many Americans, the word "touchy" barely even touches on the problems facing us. We are a nation divided. Our politicians are a direct reflection of our own inability to compromise with one another. One side is pitted against the other. Compromise is not a possibility anymore. One side attempts to compromise to the middle and ends up losing, while at the same time, gets framed as uncompromising and so far Left in ideology, the other side has no idea where the middle even begins or ends because they are too far Right in ideology. In the end, nothing gets done and the American people suffer for legislation that has been made ineffectual through backdoor deals and retroactive policies specifically designed to cripple such legislation. Let's face it. We are a mess.
After reading about the horrible event today in Arizona involving Representative Gabrielle Giffords, I went on to read the comments. Depending on the site you chose as your source of information, you were either greeted with comments in line with your political leaning or you were soon enveloped by a sea of vitriol, condemnation, and the rhetoric we have come to know over the past ten years. At that point, whether or not the young man who committed this atrocity was a Democrat or a Republican became moot. Let me repeat that point. This post is not about this young man. It is about our response to the events which transpired.
After reading one comment in particular, it dawned on me. We are likely doomed. We are too divided. We cannot turn back. A major confrontation is inevitable. A war is looming. The comment itself suggested we go ahead and divide our country and be done with it. Let's skip killing off thousands, if not millions of Americans and draw the necessary line. You go where you belong and I'll go where I belong. Let's skip the fighting, the collapse of our economy, and the scuffle over natural resources.
Ah, but that begs the obvious question. Where should this line be? If you follow politics, you might suggest that we go back to the old North and South we knew at the time of the Civil War. I know many Americans in the South want the map to look like that (and if you think I'm exaggerating, you need to spend more time living down here). Unfortunately, the political spectrum of our country has created more of a speckled map of the United States. Republicans and Democrats are neighbors. Individual states are represented by both Republican and Democratic districts. A line dividing us into North and South like that would not go over well. Millions would be left scrambling for their lives just as if there had been an actual war.
What if we allow individual states to actually secede? Secessionists roam the two lane roads just west of here in East Texas. I personally have no problem seeing Texas leave us. Several other states, likely the same ones who have brought cases against the Federal Government over Health Care Reform, would be on this list. Let's set aside the question of whether or not they can sustain themselves on their own. A state with sovereign rights separate from the Union will provide a place for those unhappy with the US Government to go. Let them worry about the anarchy inside their walls.
My point is, I think the only way America can remain standing is if we divide it. United, we are not. We have crossed the line. There is no turning back. You may find my post apathetic and worrisome, but it is the new reality on the horizon. I do not like it and I certainly wish we were not faced with such a scary future. I just don't see how we can recover from the division which has erupted over the course of these past ten years. The threat is very real and while we can stand here hoping it is not true, I do not think hope will carry us for much longer. We need a leader who can simmer down the rhetoric and not only speak the truth, but convince the American people he or she is actually telling the truth without the media spinning the language and feeding the wave of misinformation. Even the strongest and most honest leader I do not think is remotely capable of fighting against such a wave of ignorance and hate.
I do not want anarchy. There is a loud voice in this country which wants out. They do not see that what they are suggesting will create anarchy. Much like their perception of evolution, they believe secession and huge leaps can come overnight. To their dismay, I must be the voice of reason here and remind them that evolution took millions of years. No. Secession and division comes at a price and it will lead to a very long road of recovery.
Some of this post should be read in jest, I admit. At this point in time, I do not see any viable solutions to our problem. Congress needs to be reformed. Our system of elected government needs reform. Election campaign finance needs reform. People like me are not happy, but we are out of ideas. We are just as apathetic about our future as the day Al Gore conceded to George W. Bush. Many of us saw all of this coming. We were unable to stop them.