Living in the Melting Pot


Can we ever get along again?

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My liberal friends do not understand me. They genuinely believe everything has gone well with their man in the White House over the last eight years. As much as I like these people, and claim many as friends, I cannot talk politics with them as the divide is too great.

I see the country going in the wrong direction, as does 75% of the country according to polls. My liberal friends do not. They think everything is going well and are proud of such things as Obamacare, the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East, and tending to illegal immigrants, be they from Mexico or Syria. Conversely, they see the GOP candidates as the wrong path to follow and cannot comprehend how anyone could support them. They become unglued when you mention such things as the gross domestic product, inflation, the federal debt, “real” unemployment rates, the deportation of illegal immigrants, sealing the borders, the second amendment, and much more.  They contend this is all irrelevant. I ask what flavor of Kool-Aid they have been drinking.

Such polarization makes it difficult to maintain friendships as the language and decorum inevitably degenerates. We all know we have to live together, but the thought of it is not easy to digest for either side.

We hear of celebrities threatening to leave the country if a certain candidate is elected. This is an attempt to browbeat their fans into accepting their ideology. Years ago, celebrities kept a low profile when it came to politics as it could be catastrophic at the box office. I remember an interview with actor John Wayne, well known for his conservative opinions, who made the observation little was ever said about politics on a motion picture set. He claimed everyone knew the politics of the people on the set, but avoided discussing it in order to focus on their job. In other words, old Hollywood recognized the discussion of politics, be it on the set or with the public, was bad business. Not so anymore.

Our rhetoric has grown divisive, likewise, our perceptions of how we should lead our lives is as different as night and day. Some believe people are not smart enough to know what is best for them, and should be controlled by their government. Indeed, there may very well be a certain element of truth in this, but others contend the government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.

It’s all about perspectives and beliefs. Sure, we would all like to live with people who share our beliefs and values, but unless you have a lot of money to purchase your independence and privacy, that is not how America works. As the “melting pot” of the world, we should relish our diversity. Instead, we complain about the odor.

There are far too few places to discuss politics and religion respectfully. Instead, we are more inclined to shout and offer vicious discourse, which inevitably leads to fractured relations with friends and relatives. We simply do not know how to effectively communicate anymore and it is causing a strain on all of us.

So, instead of having “one nation under God,” we now have two nations at each other’s throats. Heck, we cannot even agree on the existence of God and are too ready to take it to another level.

Such is the state of the United States in the 21st century.

Keep the Faith!