LETTER: There is no “We” anymore!

To the editor:

There is no “We” anymore. Instead, there are various tribes of people (conservatives, educated, environmentalists, fundamentalists, moderates, professionals, progressives, tradesman, ... with ranges within each tribe) and groups of tribes that make up American society. While there is some common ground, such as clothing, education, housing, language, money, movies, music, popular culture, and sports; there is a wide and yawning gap in the way “we” perceive and act on our worldviews.

Consider such issues as abortion, birth control, climate change, critical thinking, drug use, evolution, gun violence / rights, health care, race, religion, same sex marriage, sexual conduct, the role of women, the role of government, science, tax policy, terrorism, voting rights, or wealth inequality; there is no consensus in America.

Thus, no one including politicians rarely speak for all of “us,” rather they speak for their tribe or group of tribes.

When politicians tell “us” that Americans do not like something or are for something, they are only speaking for their base; they are not speaking for all Americans.

As this gap in thinking and acting on these issues becomes increasingly wider and as rhetoric becomes increasing heated, tribes become increasingly isolated from each other; trust becomes broken and not readily healed. Highly unlikely that whoever is elected president this year will be able or even interested in healing society; in fact, quite the opposite, as opposition will continue unabated as it has for decades.

We are now the Divided States of America.

So, where do we go from here? Do we continue to fan the flames of rhetoric, demonize those not like us, think violence is the answer to our problems, force our beliefs onto others, jail those who are different, shoot them? If so, the likely mid-term outcome will be two or more separate and independent countries.

This is not a bad outcome by any means. Or, will we find a way to communicate with each other and work to reduce the gaps that divide us? This is not a bad outcome either. We have a choice. The outcome is not certain. But certainly we have a choice to make.

A new year is a good time to start.

David Gould
West Seattle

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