Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Is There A Solution To The Divide In America?

 Let's examine some solutions. 

l.  Let the majority rule and just let it go with the minority in anguish.  This really has been our status quo and likely will lead to another divide crisis as we had leading to both the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars which solved nothing on a long term basis.

2. Lets just have another Civil War.  That solved nothing because the Revolutionary War led to our  Constitution which ignored the divide as well as an era of semi-forgiveness for the losers of the Civil War which allowed them to oppress the freed slaves in Reconstruction, which led to segregation oppressing millions.  The losers fought back to reinstall both authoritarianism and create or ignore policies intended to either control the losers or empower them as a minority of the electorate. And, the oppressed slaves and their successors continued to suffer oppression.  Abolishing slavery did not end the just delayed the rebellion of the opponents of democracy for what was a pretty good 250 years for white Americans, not so good for non-white Americans.  I think there is little chance that citizens of red states will invade blue states to convert them to their living with red state inferior metrics in humane treatment, medical services or education.  This is the story liberals have to tell....the better life metrics enjoyed in blue states.....that argument stops all but the most ardent racists in their tracks.  The racists want civil war to punish blue state leaders and citizens for trying to bring people of color and immigrants into their standard of life.  Fortunately, the racists are badly outnumbered and soon will be subjected to minority status by liberals, immigrants and people of color.

3. Lets have a national conference on government/economic reforms to reach a consensus on solutions to the divide.  We appear not to have consensus on the roots of the divide.......our economic system which allows gross inequality and power held by the more affluent, or our core values about equality of people, irrespective of ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation, or the role of religion in a democratic society and the rights of people to not be forced to adopted a particular set of religious beliefs, or the role of our National government in protecting the rights of individuals to live their lives lawfully without restrictions on their liberty, or the role of citizens to assist one another in a democracy, or whether a democracy is our preferred system of social organization vs. authoritarianism, or the elements of a democracy as originally set forth in the values expressed in our founding and amended constitution and bill of rights.  These issues are a tall order that a single conference likely is not able to will take many such conferences over an extended period.....which our representative government was designed to facilitate through legislative action and legal opinion respected by all, but has not succeeded in facilitating.

4. Regulate our media, especially social media to limit or restrict conflict while maintain free expression of opinions/beliefs.  Clearly, before the advent of social media or for that matter, conventional print media in our early founding years,  conflict and disagreement did not have the numerous outlets for expression as we have today.  Disagreement was suppressed and the appearance of consensus of agreement on public issues was an illusion.  These disagreements on values and public aspirations were always present, just seldom and minimally expressed. In this regard, there were fewer outlets for distribution of lies, erroneous opinions and "alternative facts," misinformation, propaganda and slander.  There is unlimited opportunity today for all of these sources of conflict and division.

There is substantial research that there are varying degrees of preference for authoritarianism and or presence of  tolerance and benevolence according to how people are genetically wired and impacted by upbringing and social environment.  Old fashioned religion would characterize these as good and evil.  Maybe evolution and improved social order will rectify this divide, but likely no time soon.  Greed and generosity are learned values, are they not?  

5. Let's have a national reconciliation process.  Maybe then what we need is a national initiative to create a set of values that can be shared by people with all kind of personalities and makeups.  It should include thought leaders, clergy, physicians, psychologists and counselors, philosophers and locally elected leaders from government and commerce in public community forums and open discussions to face to face facilitate a discussion among us citizens to explore solutions and explore our shared values.  This will take time and lots of effort and an abundance of goodwill from many of us.  Yes, and social media can play a role with facilitator of forums of open discussion without animosity, in fact, with animosity prohibited.  We have too few venues for such exchanges and they should  grossly outnumber tribal discussion groups which I find myself deeply engaged with.  But they should be extensions of the public gatherings to avoid devolving into conflict. 

I opt for all but #2, led by liberals/Democrats after massive re-democratizing elections in 2022 and 2024 powered by a rejuvenated Democratic Party at all levels, putting restoring democracy and defeating authoritarian/trumpian fascism with Marshall plan funding by the Party.  Why? Because, on balance who the hell wants to live like those in our reddest states and in third world authoritarian countries around the globe.  We have fast diminishing chance to save humanity from fossil fuel induced global warming and this is our best hope.  And liberals have the best and improving handle on humane governance and economic fairness, pure and simple, hands down. And we also have a handle on global warming to save all of humanity, including the fools opposing its solutions.

All you have to do is look at the alternative that James Carville calls the Party of the Weird.  He and we Democrats align with normality,  truth and reason.  Who the hell wants to live with goofy conspiracy crap, lies, inhumane treatment of some among us and irrationality?  We believe in the perfectibility of humankind and are willing to take our chances on future relapses by the weird among us.