The Divided States of America

If you’ve seen any news at all lately or scrolled through your social media channels then you’re probably acutely aware of the ongoing tension and unrest in America. Although many thought that things would hopefully settle down after the election, it has only seemed to escalate during Donald Trump’s first couple weeks in office.

Most people regard the President of the United States of America as the most powerful position in the world. Somehow, we wound up with two very polarizing candidates in the general election. On one hand we had a power-hungry career politician who, at the very least, had abused her position as Secretary of State for personal gain with the Clinton Foundation. On the other we had an ego-driven soundbite disaster billionaire reality TV personality (and you know how much this country loves reality TV).

In my humble opinion, neither one adequately represents the best interests of the American public, as both are elitist and ultra-rich. Part of the problem is that many Americans have grown tired of the same old politics in Washington, DC and wanted a change. That is how Trump really got elected. I believe this is more the product of a corrupt political climate and a polarizing two-party system that limits our choices for actual qualified candidates to represent all of our best interests.

The arguments on social media have spilled out onto the streets where two sides continually call each other names, point fingers and assign blame, yet they are both wrong. They are also both right, in many instances. Change does need to occur in American politics, but what is happening now doesn’t appear to be heading in a positive direction for the masses. If Clinton would have been elected, she may have had more tact, but the underhanded cronyism would have continued and it is doubtful that our country would have been much better off, because we would have still been divided.

We have to stop looking at things as “us vs. them.” There is only us, together. That is how we find balance and improve our country as a whole – by being inclusive rather than exclusive. Hate breeds more hate. We have to engender more tolerance, acceptance, support and love.

This doesn’t mean we don’t voice our opinions or express dissatisfaction over perceived injustices, but it does mean we invite the “other side” to the table for discussion with the intention of finding solutions and compromise to many issues. Name-calling, bullying and physically violent acts are far from productive.

Where can we start? Let’s start by having more compassionate discourse with our neighbors, especially those we may have disagreements with. Let’s treat others, online and in person, as if their well-being really does matter to us (because it does). If we want change in Washington – real change – then we must create a more inclusive multi-party system that fosters independent thought instead of only dual-party Hatfield vs. McCoy behavior.

We must promote unity instead of division.

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