United We Stand … Divided We ???

Sean Spicer … remember him?  The first to claim that Trump’s less-than-stellar inauguration had drawn bigger crowds than Obama’s in 2009, he soon tired of being forced to tell so many lies on behalf of Trump that he resigned his position as White House Press Secretary and returned to private life.  So, what’s he doing now, you ask?  Why, he’s Dancing with the Stars, of course!DWTSThat’s right, folks, Sean is going to be paid between $125,000 and $295,000, depending on how long he remains on the show … as compared to the $180,000 per annum he earned as Trump’s mouthpiece.  Now, the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, is not at all pleased with Sean’s gig, and put out the following statement:Bergeron-statementNew York television critic James Poniewozik also sees it as a bad … really bad idea …

“To treat Spicer, and his reason for notoriety, as a harmless joke is to whitewash the harm of what he did, which was to say things so absurdly false that he invited his political side to join him in denying their own eyeballs, to encourage people to believe that facts don’t matter if they hurt your team.”

But Sean sees it differently.  He claims his appearance(s) on DWTS will “bring the country together” …

Sean Spicer Visits "Extra"

“My overall hope is that at the end of this season that Tom looks at this and says, bringing people together of very diverse backgrounds, whether it’s in politics or other areas, and allowing them to show America how we can engage in a really respectful and civil way, is actually a way to help bring the country together as opposed to bring it apart.”

Which brings me to my topic of the day: the divisiveness in this nation.

In any nation at any time, there will be conflicts, issues that divide the pro-business right and the pro-humanitarian left.  It has always been so, and that isn’t going to change, probably ever.  Most often, this is a healthy thing, leads to the best possible solution, a meeting of the minds.  But, today that divisiveness, which I have often enough referred to as ‘the great divide’, is at the highest level since the end of the Civil War in 1865.  Having a highly controversial political figure on an entertainment show is not going to change that.  And make no mistake, Sean Spicer is still lying for Donald Trump, as a senior advisor and spokesman for a pro-Trump super Political Action Committee (PAC) called America First.great-divideToday, there is no middle ground … the right has gone to the extreme right, and the left has moved further left than ever before.  There is no room for moderates, no tolerance for bipartisan lawmaking, and very little civil discourse taking place.  You’re either with us, or you’re ‘agin us’. Social media is a large part of the culprit here … sites like Facebook and Twitter could be venues for respectful, meaningful dialog, searching for answers to better understand ‘the other side’, but instead people have turned these sites into a venue for spewing hate and ugly reactions.

While I fully support the 1st Amendment right to free speech, there are times that unfettered freedom of speech does far more harm than good.  Conservatives and liberals, right and left, will never completely see eye-to-eye, will always be ideologically divided, but the state of affairs we see today cannot endure.

On June 16, 1858, President Abraham Lincoln gave an address after accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination as that state’s US senator.  An excerpt from that speech is apt today …

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

The situation was different then, the ideology different, but in some ways not so different after all.  Then, as now, there were some who believed that people with darker skin had less value.  That, certainly, is one of our issues today, but others are more complex.  Today, we fight over whether there is more value in large corporations having nearly-unlimited profit margins, or in protecting our environment and rescuing all life on earth.  Today, we fight over whether it is the role of government to assist those who cannot, whether temporarily or permanently, meet their own financial needs, or whether those people should simply be left to die.

Today, we fight over whether health care is a right for everyone, or a privilege for only the few.  Today, we fight over whether or not every Tom, Dick and Harry should have access to guns that were meant for one purpose only:  to kill.  Today, we fight over whether LGBTQ people are to be afforded the same civil rights as the rest of society, or whether they should be looked down on and treated as ‘sub-human’.  And today, despite the mandate for a separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution, we fight over whether one specific religion has the right to impose their beliefs, their will, on all in this secular nation.

The above are only a few of the issues dividing this nation, but they are highly-charged, emotional issues, and they are leading us down a path that can only end in disaster.  Shortly after Lincoln’s speech, we ended up in a Civil War.  In that war, there was a line of demarcation – there can be none this time, for on any given street in this country, you will find people on both ends of the spectrum.  In the Civil War, the north wore blue and the south wore grey … in this war, everybody looks essentially the same.  The civil war divided families, brother fought brother.  This ‘war’ has already divided families, destroyed decades-long friendships, and led to bloodshed.

Sadly, the people who we have elected to govern this nation, are only widening the divide.  It is in their power to bring the two sides together, to ‘reach across the aisle’ and set an example for the people of this nation.  It is their responsibility and duty to do just that, but they have chosen to shirk those duties, to help widen the gap, to breed even more hatred and division across the nation.  Unless things at the top change drastically, this is not going to end well, my friends.  Sean Spicer is not an ambassador for good will, but rather is as much a part of the dividing wedge as any.  Watching him tap dance and likely end up on his arse is not the cure for what ails this nation.

I offer no solutions, for if I were that smart, I would be sitting in the Oval Office, or have an office on Capitol Hill.  I only know that we must do something soon, else the United States will be torn asunder, and likely end up in tatters.  All I ask is that you … think about it.

39 thoughts on “United We Stand … Divided We ???

  1. Jill, of all of things we must talk about, I would put this in the category of “much ado about nothing.” This faux outrage feeds into overreacting to everything on the same level that should be reserved for bad actions and words. We have discussed this before, but when people overreact to every lie or boorish statement or action, it plays into Trump’s hands to distract. The news should focus on things that have consequences – like offending allies like Denmark and India with unnecessary public statements. Or, his lying about how tariffs work. Or, his deregulation of the EPA and ignoring climate change….Keith

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    • Oh perish the thought! Rick Perry was on it a few years ago … around the time he was my Idiot of the Week, probably 2016 … and he made an a$$ of himself. Yeah … I heard about Sarah and Fox. I guess her bid for Governor didn’t pan out, eh? Or, perhaps this is just a way of keeping her name and ugly mug in the spotlight plus getting free publicity for her campaign. I share your 🤢, but precious is not the word I would use for her. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  2. very well put my friend, I couldn’t agree more with this post. I read an article a while ago about how the dude who put the retweet button on twitter had regretted his decision to do so for if you remember twitter when it first came out, there was no retweet button and you had to copy and paste the link to the info you wanted to share. That afforded the user a little window of time to decide if he or she wanted to really post that content. Now, impulse rules both platforms and making it easier to share content without really giving thought to what you’re sharing is or can be quite problematic as we have both seen on our respective timelines I’m sure. I know that I am guilty of being quite impulsive and that I’ve done my part in adding to the problem. of trolling. I think some deep reflecting and soul searching is in order for the country as a whole just now, to think about the paths we’re on and what can be done to change what we want to so we can again be a more united respectful people towards each other.
    It makes me sad that friendships are torn apart by politics for I remember the days when families would gather around the table and have heated political discussions, voices would raise and some times tempers too but at the end of the night, everyone hugged or shook hands and came together the next week for another meal and quality time with each other.
    That doesn’t happen anymore in our country and it speaks volumes to the lack of depth in our relationships when we decide to walk away from people simply over who they voted for in a presidential election. If you support or even like anything that Trump has done you’re a racist and if you liked or supported anything Obama did, you were a socialist. Neither statement is true, wouldn’t you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Scott!!! I wasn’t on Twitter back then … in fact, I only joined Twitter 2-3 years ago, as best I recall, and many days I regret that I ever did. You are so right that we need to do some soul-searching. We must learn to talk TO each other instead of AT each other, we must find some common ground, learn to give a little, to compromise, else this nation will destroy itself from within, and I don’t think it will take another 10 years for that to happen.

      I, too, remember hot political discussions that ended with a “no hard feelings”, hugs and handshakes at the end of the evening. The reason, I think, that it doesn’t happen like that any more is that there is too much at stake today. The very foundation of the nation is eroding, and we feel powerless to stop it. I don’t go so far as to say that if you support Trump or his actions you are a racist, BUT … a large portion of his supporters are his supporters because they are bigots of one form or another, most often racists, but sometimes misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, or other. I’m greatly disturbed by the idea that white people are afraid they won’t be the majority in this country much longer. So what??? Who cares??? What the heck does it matter the colour of a person’s skin??? And the people that feel that way are almost to a man Trump supporters, so that’s somewhat the rationale for assuming that someone who’s out there cheering him with their maga hats on and a confederate flag on their truck, are most likely racist. Sigh.

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  3. Hello Jill, hope you’re doing well. A while ago, I remember you asking me about writing an article regarding the first few months of Australia’s new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. I have just written an article on my blog summarising my opinion on the first year of Scott Morrison as Australia’s Prime Minister. If you would like to share this post, I am more than happy with that 🙂 Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: United We Stand … Divided We ??? — Filosofa’s Word – GettingrealwithPTSD

  5. Sean Spicer dancing on Dancing With the Stars sounds like a skit from Saturday Night Live. That is how crazy things have gotten in our country. Someone in charge on DWTS is Republican and is fine with their modus operandi of LYING. This is a political ploy to make Republicans seem human instead of inhumane. All this being said, I know that not every Republican is evil; it just seems that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes I think our entire government is one big Hollywood production! A reality show personality in the Oval Office, and a bunch of ‘B’ grade actors in most of the cabinet positions. By the way, Secretary of Energy and former Texas governor Rick Perry was also on DWTS a few years ago! No, not every republican is evil, but at this point I am willing to generalize to the point of saying that anybody who still supports Trump is either ignorant or terribly selfish and arrogant.

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    • Thank you! Agreed that the bullying and violence must stop, else we will truly destroy this nation from within. Perhaps that is Trump’s master plan, or that of whoever is pulling his puppet strings. We simply must learn how to talk to each other, how to compromise, how to find that middle ground again.

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    • Yes, that will be our downfall if we don’t straighten up and find some middle ground, learn to talk TO each other instead of AT each other. People, including myself, are all so angry here these days. Not a good situation at all.

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  6. DWTS is called Strictly Come Dancing in Britain, and yes, former politicians are regularly teamed up with TV stars. I have never watched it (it is trite in my opinion) but there is something rather sickening about watching serious politicians act like giddy fools.
    It is more of the rhetoric to disarm people and make them fall into the trap of ‘trust.’

    A former Labor politician and Shadow Chancellor, ‘Ed Balls,’ has danced on ‘Strictly.’ He also did a tour in America, where he buddied up and partied with Trump supporters. Supposedly undercover, for an expose on the Trump ‘values,’ Ed Balls seemed to highly enjoy himself and it is really difficult to decide which side he is on. This is true of ‘Spicer’ too. Beware the comedic clown, for he is generally a sinister man!

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    • I did a quick & dirty search on Wikipedia for Ed Balls, and found a humorous tidbit … “On 28 April 2011, Balls, urged by an assistant to search Twitter for a recent article about him, accidentally entered his intended search term in the wrong box and sent a tweet reading only “Ed Balls”.[58] The tweet was retweeted by thousands; Balls was unaware that it was possible to delete tweets. The tweet has never been deleted. The incident is now celebrated as “Ed Balls Day” every 28 April, with followers retweeting his original message and commemorating the occasion in other ways.” Other than that, he sounds like a typical greedy, corrupt politician. Sigh.

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      • People seem to genuinely like Ed Balls. He has a disarming smile and exudes a cameraderie. Difficult to evaluate his values though (through all the comedy) . His wife, Yvette Cooper has openly denigrated Jeremy Corbyn, and she has signalled her intentions to run for the Labour Leadership.

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          • Balls lost his seat in the last election to a Conservative, but Cooper did not. However she has not got a place in Corbyn’s cabinet. Even if she won a leadership race, she couldn’t give her husband a job. He would have to be elected by the people in the next election. Britain is not quite as Corrupt as America. However, I do think Ed Balls has some influence over his wife, but she is the stronger force (Bit like Bill and Hilary Clinton type relationship there).

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  7. for if I were that smart, I would be sitting in the Oval Office, or have an office on Capitol Hill

    In a sense, one has to be smart to say all crass things and end up in the oval office but I am more concerned about the people that get them there.

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  8. Is Sean Spicer a spicy dancer? If he has talent, he might belong on the show. If not, why is he on it. Thankfully I never watch the show, and never will! If the producers are trying to make some kind of political statement, the only one that can be inferred from having Spicer on the show is that they are Trump supporters–that is enough to never attract me to watch it. What do you think about it?

    As for the division of the nation along religio-political lines, it is already too late to save, especially with DWTS, as its emcee calls it. Not even Lincoln could bring it back together right now. The evangelical right will suffer nothing less than full control over the nation, and the republican party for total dominance over the nation for the rest of time, or until the nation divides into two at its feet.
    If that is what they want, I say give them Alaska and have at it. They can throw snowballs at each other till their arms are too sore to throw more. If their hands aren’t too frozen by then, maybe they can shake hands.

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    • He claims he is a really bad dancer, so like you, I wonder what genius decided to put him on the show. My guess? They’re trying to boost their ratings with a controversial figure. Perhaps Sarah Huckabee Sanders turned the offer down, since she’s going to work for Fox now. I’ve never seen the show, but when I was still working, all my co-workers were heavily into it, and that’s all they had to talk about during lunch.

      Yeah, if only it were so simple, I would contribute to a fund to ship ’em all to Alaska. I’m so sick of this mess … by the way, that was a funny song Gail sent on Facebook! And ever so true.

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