As I have indicated on previous posts I am now starting the series called “Divided We Fall” or simply DWF. The two books that I have chosen to use as the foundation for this series are loaded on my Kindle Reader but, as I write this they have not been opened.
There were two quotes that kinda points me to a possible solution to our national disunity:
The Better Angels Of Our Nature
United We Stand, Divide We Fall
The first quote was included in the final sentence of Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address. He was pleading with the South to come to their senses and back away for the idea of a civil war. Here are some words from an NPR article from 2011
Of course his plea went unaccomplished, and we descended into a Civil War that killed more of us than all the wars we have been in since. I have always understood the phrase to mean that under certain conditions we should go beyond what comes easily. The quote to me means that we should put aside our grievances to accomplish a greater good.
The second quote is used in many different arenas. Here is what Wiki says about that:
I chose the two books for this series trying to find a balanced view of this topic. One, United We Stand by David French, takes a conservative view while Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein takes a progressive view.
I want to start this series with some of my beliefs on how we got here and then see if they are validated by the two books.
Let’s get started with my initial view of this subject. It seems obvious, given the data, that those on the right side of this disagreement are for the most part uneducated white men. Those on the left are generally college educated. I know this is a broad brush but I think one of the core things that perpetuate this divide is lazy minds. There are too many who blindly follow their clan instead of seeking the facts about many topics. There are too many who seem to be ignorant of candidates they blindly back. They are voting for a brand and have no idea what the candidates of that brand actually stand for. How could anyone approve of a person who openly tells dozens of lies a day realizing that his followers will simply take them as truth? Yeah, lazy minds have a lot to do with the current divide.
There are also those who divide our nation into rural and city. Neither group seems to trust the other. The rural clan thinks their taxes are stripped from them to sustain city life. The city folks see their rural counterparts as backward looking and panicked about the increasing diversity of the country. The rural folks think the city folks are all atheists and they are fighting to keep the US a Christian nation.
Of course, income and opportunity also plays a big role in the not trusting each other. The current Oval Office occupant by his hateful lying words has done the equivalent of shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theater. But even without his ignorant words, the economic inequality exists and that drives much of the polarity in today’s world. The last time we were like this was at the beginning of the 20th century. It took a progressive Republican named Teddy Roosevelt to turn that around. There is currently no one like that around to do the same at this the beginning of the 21st.
Those are the basic assumptions that I take going into this study. I will diligently try to keep and open mind as I read these two books. It will be an interesting journey and I hope you will join it with me.