The Polarization of America
The United States of America. This sounds majestic. Yes?
A little over two centuries ago we fled tyrannical rule by kings and church hierarchy as a people looking for freedom from governmental and religious oversight. Our forefathers wrote the Constitution, fought for and stood by their convictions in a fledging experiment in democracy.
I’m not here to rewrite or influence different thoughts on the history of our country. I’m here to give a view of what I feel kept the United States of America cohesive for so many decades. For certain, divisiveness had a hold on some aspects of our society over these times, but overall we realized the overarching effect government could have on the people of its influence. The Civil War stands out as the heading of a beast of the prior decades of those times that inflamed and threatened that cohesiveness. But we had a fledgling love for freedom still in us to the point we were able to overcome this point in history.
Many times in our history we’ve seen issues develop and try our stamina to survive as a nation, but we’ve always maintained our senses towards the idea of freedom. It was a happening event for our nation. It represented many things to many people, yet with one goal. That was to create a mighty nation where men could practice their freedom and pursue happiness with undue governmental rule.
The one thing that stands out to me is what we used to call ourselves, The Great Melting Pot. This great melting pot is a metaphor for a diverse society becoming more alike. These groups melted together into a common culture. Many from afar came to America and assimilated to become a nation of great respect and power over time. But upon study I find that in the 1970’s the desirability of assimilation was challenged by people who wanted to promote multiculturalism. This paradigm was presented as a positive thing by calling it a mosaic society or different cultures mixed together, yet remaining distinct as a nation. I’d dare to say this has had no positive effect on our nation as seen by today’s society.
During the time of mass immigration people would come here with multiples of languages, strange, hard to pronounce names. They would learn English and for the sake of the new society many changed their names to a more Americanized spelling and pronunciation. Cultural differences were still practiced, yet all these people recognized the common goal of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. That meant compromise. The Irish, the French, German and English as well as many other countries came with this in mind to make this new democracy work.
World War I brought many here to further escape tyranny of dictators and despots in and around the world. This worldwide event caused a further homogenization of a multicultural people into one who stood as true Americans, without tribute to any other nation. Pride to be an American was further solidified through the depression and another world war. The height of American Patriotism reached its peak during the early decades of the 1900’s. Not to say that the Revolutionary forces of the earliest of days was less patriotic, but the nation had grown to so much more in the worlds of governments during these times that it set us in place and as super power among the world’s governments.
But as I mentioned earlier, multiculturalism came to the forefront in the 70’s. This has been more divisive than cohesive. Those who championed this view represent loose immigration controls and programs that promotes bilingual education and affirmative action which offer privileges to minority or immigrant groups. It has become a special interest grouping. Before then people came and put their hands to the plow and worked their own place in the sun in the new land. They earned their way. Now comes special treatment for people who have become used to entitlement and have done nothing to earn it. The land of the American Dream where people once could work and when they get to a point could take a step back and look over the accomplishments they have made to better the new society they were in. No so today. Entitlement has made a whole new society of something like little birds in a nest with mouths wide open waiting for a free meal.
The American Dream is now gone. It has exited this society. I, as well as many, have earned what they have by hard work. Government for the people has become the government over the people. No longer working for us, this government has become a juggernaut that feeds at the trough of our wages telling us we need to give more, so it can be spent on people overseas and on special interest groups. There are really very few programs run by government that needs to be in existence. Defense of the country being the forefront and programs for citizens only of this country that would temporarily help them get back on their feet in times of trouble. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. I’m just saying government is too big.
This short treatise isn’t meant to be exhaustive. There are many views of our history in relation to what I’ve brought to attention here. My main concern here is the direction this mighty society has taken and where it is possibly heading if corrections in course are not taken.