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Why Is America So Divided?

As an avid follower of political and social issues, Chris has developed strong insights into the world around him.

America, the "Melting Pot"

Right from the start, America was a melting pot. People from many different cultures and backgrounds came together to form what is now the United States of America. We all know that it hasn't always been easy, and there have been growing pains along the way. The injustice against Native Americans, slavery, the Civil War, two World Wars, the Civil Rights movement, and the Vietnam War all left their mark on America.

Trump Inauguration Protest

Trump Inauguration Protest

Indeed, we were not the picture-perfect society portrayed on 1950s television, yet we continued to move forward with the idea that all are created equal. Over the past several decades, we have moved towards a more fair and equal society. Admittedly, more needed to be done, but the vision was within our reach.

So, What Happened?

When I watch the news lately, all I see is a divided country. There is so much anger and tension in the air and angry protests are now a regular occurrence across the nation. The media tells us that the rhetoric of Donald Trump's presidential campaign fueled this division in America, but is that the truth? Is President Donald Trump responsible for the hatred which is now so common across the country?

Is President Trump the Great Divider?

Certainly the 2016 election was unlike anything seen in my lifetime. There were so many accusations thrown about on both sides. Add to that the media coverage and the commentary of numerous celebrities and we ended up with a plot line no script writer could conceive.

On the one side, we had Democrat Candidate Hillary Clinton telling us that her opponent Republican Donald Trump was lying, cheating, vulgar, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-women, reckless, and irresponsible. Those are things we are used to hearing in election campaigns

On the other hand, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump built his campaign around what he called the deceitful mainstream media. He called Hillary Clinton a crook, spoke about the dangers of radical Islamists, made nasty comments about women, and talked about putting a stop to illegal immigration.

Mass Protests After the 2016 Election

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the election. This did not sit well with Hillary Clinton or her supporters. Almost immediately, we began to see protests across the country. People flooded social media to voice their fear, anger, and frustration, while the mainstream media frantically tried to explain how it all went so wrong.

The media continues to pour fuel on the fire. We are told that Clinton won the popular vote and the Electoral College is outdated and unfair. Then they claim Russia flooded the internet with fake news that influenced the election. Every action from President Trump seems to invoke a Constitutional Crisis.

President Trump Is Not the Cause, He Is the Result

Thats right, America's unrest was not caused by President Trump. Our division has been building beneath the surface for years. It is the result of two very different philosophies each struggling to hold power. Each side feels as though their values and way of life is being threatened by the other.

On the left, we have the Liberals/Progressives/Democrats who are striving for a society that is totally diverse, tolerant and inclusive. They seek a utopia where hatred is non-existent and every person holds an equal position in society. An idea that sounds good until you realize that it is not realistic. We should all have equal opportunity, but equal results is something that never could be delivered.

On the right, we have the Conservatives/Republicans who are happy with the way America has always been. They understand that it is not possible to give free money to everyone who wants it, without raising taxes to an absurd level. They also know that a country must protect its borders and maintain a strong military if it is to survive.

We Are Afraid of Each Other

It is as simple as that. Liberals see all the progress they have made being taken away. Meanwhile, the Conservatives believe the way of life they have come to love is under threat from the left. What is needed is for cooler heads to prevail and both sides to sit down and actually listen to each other's concerns. That will not happen until the mainstream media and celebrities stop pushing the chaos narrative at every opportunity.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Christopher J Wood

Comments

Christopher J Wood (author) from Florida, USA on February 23, 2017:

You make a very good point. The impact of social media in politics and society in general has been major. Could make an entire hub on this topic alone. Thanks for reading and commenting.

CJ Kelly from the PNW on February 22, 2017:

Social media and the growth of opinion journalism. The lag time to digest information has shortened and folks are now quick to anger instead of thinking about the nuances and/or details of a particular statement or policy position. Great topic.

Balatedi Nkape on February 22, 2017:

because there is the 'right wing' and the 'left wing'