Divided We Stand

divided we stand
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“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Abraham Lincoln

 

Yesterday’s podcast episode (11/9/16) looked at the issue of social divisions in America that have been at the center of our culture this election year. The political polarization within America was a serious issue needing to be addressed long before this election year started. Now it has boiled over and out of control.

 

Democrats and Republicans have not only failed to present any proposals to heal these national divisions – they have actually leveraged them for their own gain. In that leveraging, the divisions in American society have grown much more entrenched and inflamed with emotions and rhetoric that is not likely to be undone.

 

The scariest date we should be thinking about is not who will win on 11/8/16 but how Americans deal with each other and the new power arrangement on 11/9/16.

 

The New York Times ran a story in August that featured the Democrats’ ultimate dream electoral map for the election. If they could get both coasts to go “blue” (blue means Democrat) then history would be secured and the political alignment of the electoral college altered indefinitely.

 

This is the map presented in the article.

divided we stand

 

Notice anything about this map? The Democratic strategy proves the point I was making in yesterday’s podcast episode. Our nation is dangerously divided. The demographics of race, economics, values, religion, and more represented in the divided red and blue should give us cause for concern.

 

The coasts, where most of the entertainment and media establishments are based, are blue.

 

  • CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, FOX are all based out of New York City

  • CNN is based out of Atlanta

  • NPR is based out of Washington DC

  • Hollywood of and most of the entertainment industry is based out of California with satellites in New York City

 

Blue controls the messages and volume in this country. So if you are in a red state middle America, and you wonder why traditional family and red state values are so infrequently emphasized in the media or entertainment outlets – this is why.

 

The blue states control the messaging. If what you see on TV or the movies or even the news feels to be far out of alignment with your own values and experience and also pushed down your throat constantly – that’s because the blue states also control the volume of those messages. This messaging and its volume is incredibly impacting in our media saturated age.

 

Red and blue in this map is not merely a potential clash of political worldviews but a clash of value systems.

 

The red states, beyond Republicanism, represent traditional values America. This is where the farms are. This is where the non-unionized workers are. This is where people join the military to fight for their country and not just for a job. This is where flags don’t get burned. This is where churchgoers live. It is also (perplexingly) where Donald Trump’s supporters reside.

 

Numerous studies that I have discussed in previous articles and podcasts have pointed out that Trump supporters are drawn to him not for his programs or ideals. They are drawn to the protest and anger.

 

Middle red state America is angry and fed up with the lecturing from the blue states. They are angry and fed up with the assault on their values and traditions. They are angry and fed up with national tragedies being somehow linked to traditional values and beliefs.

interesting times divided we stand

The red and blue in this country no longer listens to one another. They are yelling at one another. This election has proven that reality. The megaphones of the two sides are the presidential candidates and they have let the verbal assaults hurl in unprecedented fashion in 2016.

 

What happens when the election is over? One side of this divide is going to be just as angry but will now feel disempowered of hope and possibility.

 

Do we really believe either of the candidates can lead both the blue and the red states?

 

We are on the precipice of a dangerous event. We are nearing the place where we learn what happens to a divided nation.

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