United We Stand???

If the old adage, “United we stand, Divided we fall” is true, the United States of America is in for a hard fall and one that will change the nation, perhaps for the better, perhaps not.  Not since the Civil War has this nation been so ideologically divided and has hate and mistrust filled every venue.

Senator Jeff Flake said last week that the general fiasco that the Kavanaugh confirmation process has turned into is dividing the nation.  While it is certainly widening the Great Divide, I would argue that the gap was already, before Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, wider than the Grand Canyon.  There is no longer a middle ground, civil discourse has left for greener pastures and tensions have never in my lifetime been higher.

Today, there is “they” and “we” … you are either one or the other.  You may remember me mentioning my dear friend Brian, the only sensible republican I know.  Even he and I have given up on carrying on civil political conversations, for we value each other’s friendship and see how easily it could be shredded.  He rarely reads my posts any more, and I skim over his Facebook posts, unless they are humour.  Last night, however, my angst being at an all-time high, I did respond to this on Brian’s page …Brian's postAnd my response was, under the circumstances, I thought reasonable:

“We don’t make fun of Trump’s sobriety, though I might question it in light of his behaviour. We don’t make fun of Pence’s fidelity, but we are appalled by Pence’s harsh anti-LGBT rhetoric and bigotry. And we don’t mock Kavanaugh’s ‘virginity’, but for the fact there is credible evidence that he was not a virgin at all, but rather a party-boy. “We” don’t wish the next several decades of life-or-death decisions in this nation to be made by a man who cannot even control his temper in a professional setting and who has lied to the U.S. Senate. But then, ‘we’ don’t want a dishonest, misogynistic, temperamental ‘man’ in the White House, either, but for the time being we are stuck with it. Sorry, Brian, but sometimes I just have to speak out — no disrespect toward you at all.”

Brian was fine with it, one of his friends not so much, but that is neither here nor there.  The thing, I think, that offended me most was the “they” thing.  It’s like some highly contentious sports tournament where it’s They vs Us, Liberal vs Conservative, Democrat vs Republican, Blue Jerseys vs Red Jerseys with ugly maga hats.  My grandmother had a tattoo with a number on it.  Should we go that route and make everybody get a tattoo either in blue or red, so we can see at a glance what “tribe” a person belongs to?

Brian’s friend, who I will not name, shot back wanting to know if I support Hillary and then drew some imaginary line whereby he concluded that I must be racist!  In the words of my late friend, Brenda:  HELLO HANNAH!!!  (That was her form of an expletive) Or as our friend Roger has taught me to say:  FORNACAZONI!!!

one worldWhat are we doing to each other, people?  Ten years ago, I couldn’t have told you if any one of my friends was a democrat or a republican … it just didn’t matter.  Ten years ago, we didn’t talk about ‘tribalism’; we had family, we had friends, some closer than others, we had co-workers, but we didn’t ask people to qualify their eligibility for friendship by political party affiliation, or even religion or skin colour.  At least, most of us didn’t.  “They” was a term reserved for an enemy, perhaps the Russians, perhaps the Chinese, but we were all “We”.

I am so angry with “Us”, and by “Us”, I mean all of us, democrat, republican, male, female, every religion, every ideology.  Instead of listening, all we are doing is yelling, insulting and bullying.  Instead of trying to get our views across so that they can be debated, so that we can learn from each other, we are yelling and pointing fingers and blaming everybody, even dead people!  We all have some good ideas, and most of us also have a few really rotten ones, but unless we listen, we will never know.

This nation will not survive the Era of Trump if we don’t unify, if we cannot even talk to each other.  And yes, I definitely include myself in my anger, I accept my share of blame, for I am no better and by this afternoon will once again be ranting against “them”.  But how do we do better when we cannot even talk to each other?

How do we put the greater good ahead of our individual desires?  This nation has already crossed the line from a democratic-republic to an oligarchical-plutocracy.  We now have a government run by the very few ultra-wealthy.  Decisions made at the highest levels that will affect each and every one of us, are made by wealthy people whose only goal is to get wealthier.  Elections are subject to Russian interference, for Putin sees it as being in his interest to keep Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress and to keep the nation divided. Elections are also subject to nefarious games such as gerrymandering, voter intimidation and voter suppression to attempt to keep certain groups, such as the poor and minorities away from the polls, or at least dilute their vote.

So, how is our voice to be heard?  We write and call our elected officials, but at best we receive a standard form letter in response.  Today, we have more avenues of communication … instantaneous communication … than ever before, yet we cannot make ourselves heard by the people who ought to be listening.  And so, we fight amongst ourselves.  And such may well be the goal of those in power.  I began this post with a quote:  United we stand, Divided we fall.  I use another quote to leave you with another thought:  Divide and Conquer.divide-conquer

52 thoughts on “United We Stand???

  1. Good people have fought that”us and them” mindset forever. And if we can’t heal this breach? I think it’s about time our country had a “come to Jesus” moment, if you know what I mean. Nothing short of that will change anything, I reckon… I’m half scared to death Trump is going to take all those kids he just had transferred to the Mexican border and push them right into he arms of the traffickers waiting on the other side. He has made it so we’ve forgotten about the kids…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The internal division, anger, constant bickering and lack of leadership is weakening our nation, making us more vulnerable to outside forces. And then, too, there is the tactic leaders of nations often use to bring internal cohesion of creating an external threat, real of imagined. All said, you may well be right that it will take something major to wake the people to reality, for they surely aren’t living in the real world at the moment. This situation is untenable in the long term, and something, somehow must stop this circus train. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Matthew 12 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
    Divide and Rule can only be carried out by an astute operator who plays on side against the other; sitting in a bunker speaking to a minority of the nation only leads to downfall of one sort or another.
    Happening here too, only it’s called Brexit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are right, and Trump certainly cannot by any stretch be thought of as an astute operator. But … and this I’ve been pondering … what if … Putin is calling some of the shots? Putin is surely an astute operator, too much so for the world’s well-being. Just something to ponder. Yes, I haven’t forgotten about you guys and Brexit … I think … I hope … that you all are more civil about it all? I’ve always heard about that ‘stiff upper lip’ you Brits have, and how much more calm you are, not ranting about like us Yanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Czar Putin has over reached himself. He is tinkering with the age at which Russians can get their Old Age Pension. He has incurred the wrath of the Babushkas (elderly Russian women)…. never do that!
        As for our stiff upper lip…..errrr….just wander over to any FB site on Brexit…. (Urrgh! You wrong! Blarrgh! Me Throw Rocks at you! Grrrr you even wronger! Me throw bigger rocks at you…Burrgh!…..Yuurggg! Me can make bigger noise than you!…..Uuuurgh You stupid! …..Raggggh! No! You stupid!……You get the general idea 😖)
        A bit like a discussion over Gun Control

        Liked by 1 person

        • 🤣🤣🤣 You Brits do have a way with words, don’t you? Yes, it sounds much like any discussion about gun control in this country. Okay … then I’ll admit that Brexit and Trump are each just as bad. Sigh. What’re we gonna do with ’em all, Sir Roger? Hmmmm … 🤔🚬 🤔🚬 🤔🚬🚬🍷 🚬 🍷🚬 I’ve now given this considerable thought, and here’s what I’ve concluded. I propose a temporary (2 year) trade, whereby we will send Donald Trump to the UK to get the Brexit mess straightened out, and you send Ms. May to straighten out our … everything! Deal? 🤝

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well Stalin in principal had a fairly reasonable idea except he over-thought the problem and had to mess it up with torture and executions of people.
            That said I suspect Trump wouldn’t last out a year in the UK, 🏃‍♂️🐉 🐲Far too brutal for his weak-assed type of bullying. (in UK terms..he’s a ‘limp one’)
            Theresa might go down well in the US being a tough, middle of the road conservative (though she should not dance in public!). 🗣💃
            Since both nations seem hell-bent on destruction of the consensus approach in politics, it’s hard to think up something constructive 🤔 🤨

            Liked by 1 person

            • Um … Trump not lasting out a year was the whole idea, Roger! Ha ha ha … the term ‘limp one’ has a somewhat different meaning over here! I suspect a connection, though. 🤣🤣 I think Ms. May’s brand of conservatism might be the only sort that would play among us left-of-center-bleeding-heart-liberals, but I fear the republicans, the white evangelical bunch, might crucify her. GASP … a woman for president??? The HORROR of it all! 😱

              Liked by 1 person

      • I sometimes see tidbits of news from other European countries and seems they are having this divide and conquer problem as well. Nationalism and anti immigration on the rise and in Germany a resurgence of a Nazi party? Sometimes I think we feel it’s just in the US, but sadly it’s becoming worldwide. And these third world countries where people are fleeing for their very lives. It can be overwhelming.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, the populist movement, which initially began as a response to the Arab Spring and the resulting refugee crisis, is taking hold on both sides of the pond. It was largely responsible for the UK’s Brexit, and populist leaders such as LePen and Hofer nearly unseated the structure of some European nations. Frankly, I think part of the reason it hasn’t had a larger effect in the EU is that they have been watching our example and decided they weren’t quite ready to go through what we are going through.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Wait. Wait. Kurt Russell is a Trump supporter? I honestly am losing heart in everything. It is smple playground mentality now brought to the White House and into the bright lights. If you aren’t with “me” you must be against “me” and the collective “me” of followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. He is a card-carrying member of the NRA and was best man at Ted Nugent’s wedding, if that tells you anything. He claims he is not a republican, but a libertarian. And you’re right … no middle ground anymore. We need to fix this, but I wish I knew where to begin.

      Liked by 1 person

        • That may be why I cannot seem to understand what, precisely, they stand for. I do wish we had a third viable party in this country, but it isn’t the way the framers set up the foundation, and the Libertarians don’t sound like what I have in mind anyway. Yes, I’ve been disappointed in a few myself … sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. A 5 Gold Star rating for this post, out of a possible 5! In my entire life, I cannot ever remember the country so divided as it appears to be today. At times I wonder, was that because I just was not paying close enough attention during my working years…8-10 hour work days/7 days a week may have contributed. Then, I must consider that since retiring in 2013, there did not seem to be this much anger and hate constantly barraging the senses until 2016. We as a country should be more than just our government, no matter the person in the White House…I just do not know how that is possible these days, I wish that I did. I read this comment that Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, made last evening : “We all know that the president cannot lead us through this time. We know that he’s dispositionally unable to restrain his impulse to divide us.” Then, I read about a Trumpian tweet gushing about Kavanaugh that ended : “The country is with him all the way.”…no Donald, not the whole country! Divide and Conquer?!? Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • WOW!!! A 5-gold star rating! Never had one of those before … Pulitzer here I come!!! 😉

      Yes, this country is a tinderbox right now, just waiting for someone to strike a match. As re Ben Sasse … yes, I read that, but I would be more impressed if he puts his vote where his mouth is tomorrow. Don’t hold your breathe. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, as I mentioned in a recent email, “this blind tribalism has to stop.” Our tribe is the United States of America. I do not mind people being more conservative or more liberal than I am (I am fiscally conservative and socially progressive). I do mind so-called leaders spreading untruths to support whatever position they have.

    Neither side has all of the good ideas and both have some bad ones. We must listen to what people say and ask questions. We should not name call as a short cut to demean or not listen.

    Regardless of what party someone represents, we should not condone a President who lies and bullies as much as he does. The President has lied and bullied all his life, even when he was a Democrat, so his lying is not party specific. It just does more damage as a President.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, your email was what first started me thinking on this topic, and then Brian’s meme rather iced the cake and set my fingers in motion. I have come to despise the word “tribe” in just the past two months.

      I really think that Trump wishes to keep this nation divided … and my fear is that we eventually pass the point of no return. I don’t see Trump as having ‘party loyalty’, given that he was once a democrat, then during the campaign threatened to back out of the GOP and run as an independent. Trump is out for Trump. Period. And the RNC is too blind, apparently, to see it. I wish there were a viable third party in this nation … I think it would cut back on a lot of the partisanship.

      Like

  6. I posted this comment on Grondamorin’s site, but I’ll repost here.

    I have acquaintances who are trump supporters, but no close friends that do. I honestly could not be good friends of a trump supporter anymore. To me anyone who supports trump is either willfully ignorant, because of either apathy or Fox News or evil and mean just like he is.
    I’m in Fla. and there are a lot of old people here (myself included😊) and I sense with the old white men, that they want the US to be like it was in the 40s/50s. They don’t like change. And their spouses either go along to get along or they drink the koolaid too. I see heavy support in the elderly and all the TVs are tuned to Fox.
    And the younger male supporters are living vicariously, through trump because they really want to be a bully too. They want to be able to “get in someone’s face.”They resent women and minorities, especially women. They very much resent women becoming independent and getting into business positions of power.
    I sometimes feel we are not only divided right and left, but men against women.
    And the the subsets of trump supporters are the religious far right nuts ( and yes they are nuts in hating gays and against women’s rights and the environment and anyone who is not Christian) and the racists that don’t like anyone that isn’t white.
    So decent people are up against a world of angry hateful miserable people and I can add, we are also divided by the very essence of what’s good and decent and supportive of all people and our home planet against mean petty small minded people and large corporations and the politicians they own.

    I still say let’s divide the country. I don’t care what half I live in. I just want to be away from these trump supporters and the republicans and the religious nuts. I am so tired of them! And they will never listen or think again. Their brains have been totally rewired in some entirely new way. It’s like we are from two different planets. I don’t see a way out, sadly😢

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with most of what you say, but I still try to stay friends with a few of my republican friends, for I think we really must find ways to understand each other. We don’t have to agree, but at least open our minds and listen. I have said the same as you … fine, divide the country … when I was tired, frustrated and stressed beyond measure. But in truth, I would much rather see us make a great effort to unite the country. I don’t see the way out either, but I’m not willing to stop trying to find it just yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can be friends with republicans as long as their not trump supporting cultists, but not close friends. The same with people of the Mike Pence variety of religion. To me, it’s more than just mere differences in beliefs or ideology. It’s their very core of who they are and how they view the world and other people, especially minorities, that make it impossible for me. I’m talking of the extreme here, but sometimes I feel that group is growing.

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        • I agree … not close friends, but then, if you’re like me, none of your close friends were republicans 3-4 years ago even, for their ideology in this decade is so far from ours that there is simply no real connection, no longer any bond. I wish I thought this deep division between ‘them’ and ‘us’ would reverse course, but I don’t know that I believe that anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. From this side of the pond your nation looks as badly divided and partisan as a rabid European football crowd, (soccer). Football ‘supporters’ can and often do erupt into violence, and your nation looks as though it’s just about to go down that nihilistic road.
    God Bless from England.
    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard that you guys take your football rather seriously and riotously! ⚽ Yes, it sometimes seems as if we have either passed or are rapidly approaching the point of no return, the point where blood begins to flow in the streets. Sigh. Hugs, Jack! ❤

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  8. So very well said, dearest one!! These are the words I’ve had in my head since election night. To such a degree that we had discord with close family members where we didn’t even speak for 1 1/2 years. We took care of the youngest grandson and that stopped immediately. Slowly repairing that now and totally staying away from the topic!
    I’ve always been quite social, enjoyed gatherings and loved fun … that has been significantly curtailed. I’m a home body now. I don’t want to go out … other members of the family, we totally avoid the topic. Friends and acquaintances have slowly peeled foo. Not blaming them … I just don’t want ‘to hang’ anymore! Yes divided and labeled. Us vs them … as you say, never before did I know what their ‘beliefs’ were. Now I can’t even consider being ‘connected’ to them. Sad state of affairs!! Hugs … 😦
    PS … sad to know Kurt Russell seems to be one of ‘them’!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is sad … it has torn families apart, destroyed friendships. I used to ‘do lunch’ with a group of former co-workers once every month. I haven’t been invited to join the group for more than a year, although I see by one’s Facebook posts that they still get together monthly. Other friends … poof! Gone! Sigh. And perhaps the worst of it is that I just can’t find the energy to even care anymore, to extend an olive branch. This has been such an exhausting time … I wonder if it will be found to have shortened the average lifespan in the nation? I know alcohol sales are up! Many hugs, my dear friend! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, I can’t imagine you not having many friends. You are so nice and thoughtful. But I hear this a lot. I got lucky where I live because I am in a very red area of a red state (central Fla.) But I have met some ladies who think like me and have made a really good friend. But I do get the sense that I am surrounded by the “other” at times. I do Facebook, but have only a small number of friends there and I don’t post often. So in a way, I control who my friends are.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Awww … thank you, Mary! But, you’ve read some of my rants here on my blog … in person I rant even worse. But in general, those who stopped being friends with me did so because I am adamant that Trump is not a president, that he is ignorant and highly unqualified. When I ask them why they support him, what they see of value, they have no answer and simply walk away, saying that I don’t understand. I do have friends, and a few close ones, but in honesty, I think these days, with a couple of exceptions, I am closer to my friends here on WordPress whom I’ve never met and never likely will, than I am to the people I’ve known for decades!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    So very well said … this is the real tatic: Divide and Conquer! It as been perfectly carried on. And each and every one of us has fallen for it one way or another. I consider my personal life and that is the case. We are divided and HE/THEY have conquered!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m glad you didn’t leave that idiots reply unanswered. So anyone who disagrees with Trump is a Devil Worshipper, how very odd since I don’t worship Trump. And unless I miss my best guess Kavanaugh is not a virgin, or is this fool suggesting his wife had a virgin birth.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • Another time, I would likely have just shook my head and ‘walked on by’, but yesterday I just couldn’t. Seems the whole bloomin’ world has gone nuts! And these people call themselves Christians? Sigh. I’m lucky to have a hand to pull me out of the rabbit hole …
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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