The polarization of politics in America is tearing our nation apart. Conservatives and liberals agree on nearly nothing. The separate states of our country play for power against a powerful and growing federal government. Is unity the future of these united states we call America?
United we stand or standing divided?
Is it possible that the U.S. will break up or tear apart? If Peggy Noonan can opine on the prospect, it must be so.
Is it possible that the polarization of politics across our fifty states will regionalize the nation into separate areas? John Naisbitt in his best seller, Megatrends, spoke seriously of the prospect back in 1982.
Will there be two Americas, or three, or four? Americans have noticed the deepening divisions, particularly since Obama won the White House.
Whatever happened to prosperity?
Our nation now stands divided over not one but many issues, although they all seem to root in the failing economy and poor prospects for the prosperity of Americans. Unemployment prevails, economic growth stagnates, more Americans than ever cannot make their own way. How to remedy these issues polarizes across the two prevailing political perspectives.
Polarized perspectives on prosperity
Conservatives believe prosperity arises from the initiative of individuals, capitalism, a free-market economy, freedom to choose, and limited government. Liberals believe in the collective that is ruled from a centralized socialist government by a few individuals who think they know best what to do, how to do it, and write rules for the rest of us to obey. Has no one noticed the level of mediocrity that prevails in socialist nations? No notice of economic decay, progression of poverty, eventual disintegration?
What to do without?
Liberals want a regimented society without religion, wealth, personal incentive, achievement, or anything else that makes us unequal or shows up the natural differences among every one of us. Liberals think we have too much of all of that going on.
Conservatives want a free society without overbearing regulation, undue restriction, prohibitive rules, excessive taxation, or governments telling them what to do. Conservatives want to be left alone to pursue their interests, incomes, and individuality in the ways that they wish, as long as it harms no one else.
Liberals love to leave no one alone in the belief that their liberal ways are best. They dislike anyone who disagrees and like to silence dissenters. Liberals think their opinions are the only ones that exist and won’t give up until yours are theirs.
Red states and blue states
The red states of the Union cast the majority of their votes to conservatives. Blue states cast the majority of their votes to liberals. Such voting patterns reflect less on political party than it does on what voters believe makes for prosperity.
For example, Texas, South Dakota, Arizona are red states where unemployment is low, taxes are low, jobs are plentiful, and prosperity prevails. Contrast that to blue states such as California, New York, or Illinois, where unemployment is high, taxes are high, jobs are sparse, welfare is through the roof, cities are bankrupt, and poverty prevails over prosperity. Is there any question that the red states have it right about prosperity? What more evidence do blue states need to know that social policies cause decline?
It is obvious that red states and blue states prefer their colors since state voters continue to vote in the same old political hues. This speaks of a rooted satisfaction in the political stance of the individual states with no move toward unity as to the governance of the whole.
Fork in the road
The divide runs deep with the pace of polarization quickening in the current administration. Obama promised to unite when all he has done is divide, with the point of disintegration seemingly imminent. What are neighbors to do when neighbors as states are not aligned, when one cannot compromise with the other nor win another over to the other side?
Americans must decide to stick with their states or build a better road to prosperity for the whole. Accomplishing either faces huge challenges. Ideas, anyone?