I don’t know exactly when this round of” Us vs Them” started, but it is proven to be flat out destructive. Let me spend a few minutes here trying to show you the damage it has done and what we might do to reverse it.
From what I can find making those who think differently than you do in the political arena started in earnest during the Newt Gingrich era of the 1980s. I like to blame Reagan for most of this stuff so I will add his name here too. Since that time partisanship has almost completely evaporated! It is now all about defeating your bitter foes on the other side of the great divide.
The problem is that today’s divide has become so wide and vitriolic that it comes down to friend vs enemy, politics is always war, and life in general is eternal conflict. We have it in our mind that if we can just defeat our enemy we can make a perfect world where everything goes our way.
Little do we realize that can never happen. Once that mentality takes shape in our mind it fashions enemies where none were previously present. All we do is peel the onion down to the next conflict level.
I would like to believe, whether it is true or not, that most of us don’t always live our lives in that mode. We manage to get along with our neighbors, even if they are different from us. Those of us in small communities actually enjoy those around us. Yes, there is the tribal instinct when it comes to family but there is also a community instinct outside of family.
The underlying problem in America, and much of the rest of the world, is division, or how we separate ourselves from others :
- The widening gap between rich and poor
- rural and urban
- whites and people of color
- educated and less educated
- conservative and progressive
But I can’t help believe that somehow these divides can be conquered using things where we agree with each other. The first part of this very long journey is to find those things. Let’s look at a few possibilities here to get us started:
- We all love our children and want what’s best for them.
- We are bound by our work ethic and can find improvements we all want to see in that area.
- We all want a sense of belonging so maybe we can find a way to pull the political power more to the local area.
- We all have a shared sense of community. If only we can see that there is a diversity of poeple in that community that are not threatening to us.
We need all of these things to begin coming together as a nation. Let’s all try to take baby steps in these areas and before you know it we just might be taking giant leaps together.
The Us vs Them Mindset Just Might Take Down Our Country – Let’s Find Our Common Bonds To Keep That From Happening