“After Trump’s election: ‘There are two Americas now,’” reads the Washington Post headline. Interestingly, found elsewhere at the Post is the text of a 2004 DNC speech by then-vice-presidential nominee Senator John Edwards in which he stated that “we still live in a country where there are two different Americas” (emphasis added). So are “two Americas” something new or something old — or something seldom correctly told?
The Post writes of the apparent division in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, citing a variety of perspectives. One man insisted the division was an illusion “manufactured” by the media but then, contradictorily, blamed Hillary Clinton’s deplorable “deplorables” rhetoric. Others, of course, put the onus on Trump, ignoring that it takes two to tango. If everyone agreed with the president-elect, there wouldn’t be division, would there? Yet the real point missed is that, with how our (dis)United States are now balkanized racially, ethnically, religiously, and ideologically, having just two Americas would be an improvement.
The Post mentions how even families are divided over the election and that many are looking toward gatherings for Thanksgiving with misgiving. Citing a 22-year-old college student from Georgia named Kelcey Caulder, whose grandmother is an ardently pro-life Trump supporter, the paper writes:
They haven’t talked much since Caulder’s grandma found out that Caulder was voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton and told her granddaughter bluntly, “You’re going to hell.”
Caulder tried to be understanding.
“I think, in her way, she was trying to be protective of me,” Caulder said. “She wasn’t saying ‘Kelcey, go to hell.’ It was more like she was saying, ‘Kelcey, don’t you know this could send you to hell?’”
But when her grandma unfriended her on Facebook, Caulder said, it was hard not to take it personally. Now, she is nervous about Thanksgiving, although she hopes the family dinner could be a chance to reconcile.
Obviously, Caulder is far more mature than her fellow ideologists rioting in the streets, vandalizing property, and hurting people simply because they don’t approve of the November 8 result. Nor is she anything like the Texas mother who heartlessly kicked her seven-year-old son out of the house — while he was crying hysterically — because he voted for Trump in his school’s mock election (video below). Yet here’s the real point: Did Caulder and her grandmother agree on everything prior to this campaign season?
Did they suddenly diverge ideologically just because Trump came along?
As reader “chrisluke” put it in the Post article’s comments section, “Dear WaPo Dopes: ...there were two Americas before this election, [sic] you just weren't paying attention. That and the right/conservatives/Christians were not rioting in the streets or retreating to their ‘safe spaces’ with coloring books and cookies and Play Doh and puppies.” Quite true. Conservatives were upset over Barack Obama’s two election victories, but the discontent wasn’t as visible because they didn’t throw tantrums billed as “protests” (many of which, if not most, are “Astroturf” — events orchestrated by powerful forces yet made to look like grassroots efforts — as Project Veritas sting operations have proven).
Clearly, these rioting, livid leftists aren’t taking the advice of another Post commenter, “StarPoint,” a self-described “secular moderate” Clinton voter who essentially recommended adherence to the old admonition, “Never discuss religion or politics.” In reality, though, a civilization simply doesn’t have the luxury of indulging this precept, as it’s a prescription for superficiality. Translated, it actually means “Never discuss anything that really matters.” And could this be a recipe for long-term harmony?
Imagine a man and woman are engaged and, in an effort to not upset the apple cart, avoid discussing some fundamental matters over which they disagree. Instead they focus on things they enjoy together, such as going to dinner and movies and engaging in recreation. So the wedding comes off, but what happens when the “honeymoon” is over? Man does not live on bread alone, and he cannot live on frivolity alone. In time, the bread-and-circuses distractions won’t be enough; moreover, the couple will have to make serious life decisions, most significantly on how to raise their children. And those fundamental differences between them will come to the fore — whether they like it or not.
Like our country, this hypothetical couple was always divided, only enjoying superficial unity for a time. And like them, we have no choice but to tend to what really matters; we must organize civilization, devising traditions, social codes, foreign policy, and laws.
As for today’s striking divisiveness, the main reason for it is simple:
We’re strikingly divided.
It’s not just that you say potato and I say potahto or that we disagree over serving white bread or whole wheat in the school lunch program. We’re divided over fundamental issues: life, marriage, sexuality, sex itself (the “transgender” agenda), internationalism vs. nationalism, etc. Is marriage only between a man and woman? Are there even such things as “man” and “woman,” or is it all a matter of “identity”? Should we have a “borderless” world, as Hillary Clinton advocated in a speech, or Trump’s wall? Are the Founding Fathers visionaries to be adored or oppressors to be abhorred? Such divisions can’t be glossed over or assuaged by singing “Kumbaya.”
This ideological balkanization is accompanied by the racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual variety. Hyphenation is rife, with too many today identifying themselves as a _____-American. There are all manner and form of related special-interest groups, from La Raza to the NAACP to CAIR to the Anti-Defamation League to GLAAD, and every politically correct one has pandering politicians doing its bidding. We’re pressing one for English on our phones (and perhaps two for English in the future?) and censoring ourselves in our speech for fear of “offending” some of the _____-Americans. We’re also now accosted with racial demonization masquerading as “white-privilege theory” and by a president (Obama) who once told Hispanics to “punish” their “enemies” in the voting booth. Clearly, we’re fractious because we’ve long been fractured — it’s not some new Trumpian phenomenon.
In fact, Jesus spoke 2000 years ago of family divisions sparked by acceptance and rejection of Truth, saying, “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against his father.” Nothing has changed. Rejection of Truth is still the issue, with a majority today believing there is no “Truth” (transcendent by definition) and subscribing to moral relativism. Their refrains are utterances such as “Everything is a matter of perspective” and “Everyone has his own ‘truth.’” Yet a nation can be genuinely united only around what is good, if its people seek and embraces Truth. A land where everything is viewed as “perspective” can be left with as many perspectives — and hence chasms — as there are people.
In our case that’s about 320 million. Thus has our motto E pluribus unum (“Out of many, one”) become “Out of many — many, many more.”