President Trump has so far been correct about many things and wrong about a few things. One of the things he said at his recent press press conference (2-16-2017) is that he did not divide America. This is true. The nation was divided years before he politically came upon the scene. He also said that the nation was very divided under Obama, as it was. That is partially why candidate Obama said, in 2008, that he would unify the country. But as we know, his tactics, policies and behaviors polarized the nation even more.
We might be tempted to trace the current divide back to the partisan vote of ObamaCare in 2010 that authorized Uncle Sam to begin controlling 1/6 of the the U.S. economy (the health care industry). Or we could go back to the decision to go into Iraq by President Bush in 2003, or the conclusion of the 2000 presidential election before that. Each of these events served to feed the citizenry on both sides with emotional ammo that was fired in the discourse of decisions made by the Chief Executive and some things far beyond his control (ie: Hurricane Katrina). But before these events, there was the impeachment of Clinton by the Republican Congress in 1998. And on and on to multiple political events before this. However, there is something more dramatic that happened to America, which poisoned the water of the culture that took root among us and sprung up in our politics.
In times past, Americans were divided in approach to achieve mutually agreed upon goals. But this has morphed into disagreeing on the ends and an all-out assault on how to get there. Chiefly, so much can be traced back to the explosion of defiance of tradition by the Baby Boomers in the 1960’s. The roots of this ignition have its origin in various isms – atheism, socialism, communism, Darwinism, Marxism, etc. The Boomers did not know how to shake off the burdens of expectations from their parents1 in a healthy and productive way. Add to this a foundation of sand upon which they constructed their sense of sympathy, compassion and fairness. Then throw in monumental social events like the assassinations of JFK, MLK Jr, and the Vietnam War protests. Next, sprinkle in to this toxic mix an introduction of foreign religions via the Beatles, mind-altering trips from authors & drug pushers such as Timothy Leary, and most importantly the removal of the Judeo-Christian God from public life2, and the entire decade seemed to be a powder keg with more than enough matches to cause social and political destruction.
We live in a nation today that wants two very different outcomes. Generally speaking, the Republicans want a country of basic agreed upon mores; where the majority rules without oppressing the minority; where processes put in place democratically are honored until lawful procedures change them; where speech and religion are free to be practiced; where a civil government honors the Judeo-Christian God, though this religion is forced upon no one; where the majority of society’s problems are dealt with by individuals, charities and private organizations and the government’s role is to provide safety from foreign enemies, in addition to inspecting the meat, delivering the mail and some other basic things that only an objective party can do.
Contrast this to generalities of the Democrat Party. They want an activist, exerting government to ensure new rights such health coverage and speech that will not be offensive; they believe everyone should have a full dinner table of multiple dishes despite one’s work ethic or personal money management; where housing, mobile phones, satellite television and transportation are the burden of the government to provide if necessary; where personal responsibility is filtered considering one’s behavior, ethnicity, social status and the amount of noise he/she makes; where no deviance is shameful (adultery, homosexuality, transgender, polygamy); where murder is acceptable as long as it goes by the terms of euthanasia or abortion; where multiple languages, pencil drawn national borders and a plethora of cultures can co-exist forever while singing Kumbaya; where specific laws democratically passed in one year can be overturn on the whim of one or two robed lawyers (aka judges) a few years later; and a place where progressive-leaning government officials are always to be trusted.
We are and have been a nation divided for a very long time.
1. Generally speaking, these parents are those who went through the depression of the 1930s, then fought and won WWII in the 1940s.
2. A significant direct hit by the anti-god crowd was the removal of a brief daily prayer-time set aside in public schools in the USA by the Supreme Court decision of Engel v. Vitale.
See Link 1 and Link 2 to read more.