Author Topic: Will We Ever Be United Again?  (Read 722 times)

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Offline kaos2900

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Will We Ever Be United Again?
« on: February 16, 2016, 07:36:43 AM »
It seems to be a common thing in most of these P/R threads that the United States is the most divided it's been in a long time. Whether it's race, politics, or religion it seems that the vast majority of Americans now a days are unwilling to listen to the other side. We have a developed an us vs. them mentality. A lot of blame get put on social media and the internet in general as people now have the platform to voice their opinions in ways they never had before. This is great but for some reason people tend to think that their opinions now matter more than everyone elses opinions.  I've been questioning a lot lately if the relative "peaceful" past few decades have been an illusion. Has it always been this bad or has society truly turned less civil? People have more freedom and platforms to speak their minds yet the first amendment is in more danger than ever. Will our country ever be truly united again? Is it even possible? How long can our country exist in it's current format with how divided we are? Will there ever be another Civil War in next 100 years? What would it take to unite us? These are just some of the questions I've been pondering lately. Maybe it's the gloomy winter weather but I don't feel like there is a lot of hope for our country's future.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 07:50:32 AM »
As dire as it looks I honestly think we are only one Great Leader...someone Historic....away from tearing down the figurative walls that are being built and erasing the division. We haven't had a Great Leader in this country for some time....I'd say since Kennedy. The last few Presidents haven't been all that impressive when it comes to actually leading a country...they've been party presidents.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 10:20:58 AM »
I agree that a historic leader would help, but I think it's unlikely we'll have one of those anytime soon. I think a clear enemy could help too, like if China attacked the US. I think our best bet is the people getting fed up with all of this crap and moving back to moderate politicians who are willing to work together.

Offline Chino

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2016, 10:24:31 AM »
Unless we get invaded, I don't see us coming together as a nation any time soon.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2016, 10:31:17 AM »
It'll require something catastrophic, or a real war. September 11 was trivial in the grand scheme of things, and the war on terror is a political maneuver. We're talking abut an existential crisis. Plague, Pinnacle NUCFLASH, any Earthquake predicted as The Big One, invasion of Colorado by South American Communists, that sort of thing. War with Russia or China would also do it. It would have to begin with that, but would also require The Man to be somebody worth a damn. 
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2016, 11:08:26 AM »
We are more divided now than we've ever been, except for most of our history.

To a certain extent, we've always been divided, in some way.  It seems worse now because now is when we are actually living.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2016, 11:18:33 AM »
We are more divided now than we've ever been, except for most of our history.

To a certain extent, we've always been divided, in some way.  It seems worse now because now is when we are actually living.

I'd say it also has a lot to do with the ease of instantaneous communication. Back in the day, you could find your own pocket of people and live in a community in which everyone shared your cultural values, prayed to the same god, etc.. Nowadays, no matter where you live, you're constantly bombarded by people from all corners of the globe. A lot of people can't handle that. People feel as though their way of life is being threatened by people who have nothing to do with their lives (People in CT raising hell about a rancher in Nevada). It creates anger and animosity.

Offline orcus116

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 11:32:19 AM »
We are more divided now than we've ever been, except for most of our history.

To a certain extent, we've always been divided, in some way.  It seems worse now because now is when we are actually living.

I agree with this but maybe it's because I'm living in one part of the country. A lot of this "social unrest" seems to be more bark than bite and while there are some issues to button up it's just a battle of opinions. I think it's asinine to think we're anywhere close to splitting as a nation especially compared to some actually fucked up places around the world.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 12:07:44 PM »
Yeah, things are a mess now, but they've been bad in the past. For bitterness go back to the Jackson administration. He blamed the opposition for the death of his wife and was a tremendous dick as a consequence (ask the Indians about that). Then you've got the pre-civil war era, when one congressman tried to bludgeon another do death on the floor of the capitol.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 12:39:34 PM »
My father has always said what you guys are hinting at.  Things aren't any worse than they were back in the day, we just hear about all of it now with mass communication and social media.

However, maybe that leads to people knowing more and having stronger opinions because of it.  Since everyone has a voice now, it seems.

Offline Implode

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 01:14:48 PM »
Right. And many people are still getting used to the internet, so they don't know how to pick their fights or when it's best to just ignore someone. When anyone can post something to a huge audience, you have to know how to filter what you're looking at a little bit.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 01:56:16 PM »
The democrats alone are divided enough on Bernie vs. Hillary. 

Offline jasc15

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2016, 10:01:25 AM »
I don't know a whole lot besides the basics about the Federalists vs. Republicans during the early years of the US, but that was quite a bitter and fierce rivalry.  The debate about the role and scope of government has existed since the founding, and it's silly to assume that the opinion opposite to yours is counter to the founding principles of this country.  That very debate is the founding principle of this country.

How the Rivalry Between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton Changed History

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2016, 10:27:56 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 04:59:30 PM by Calvin6s »
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline TL

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2016, 11:21:52 AM »
I think a big part of it is that, while there was plenty of discord in the past, there was no real way to hear about most of it. People just have more of an outlet now to express their views.
So a lot of the divide the US has seen in recent years is all stuff that was there already; you just didn't necessarily know it was all there.

As for if a country with deep systemic divides can become more unified; anecdotal, and another country, but I think it's relevant;

Here in Canada, in the 1990s, the separatist movement in Quebec, on a feeling that they were being treated unfairly, formed the Bloc Quebecois federal political party. Throughout Canadian history, there has been a lot of bigotry and hostility toward french Canadians (not just the Quebecois, also the Acadians, franco-Manitobans, the Fransaskois, etc, Quebec were just the group big enough to push back effectively). In 1993, the Bloc Quebecois won enough seats in Quebec to be the second biggest party in the federal government, and the Official Opposition. Their entire reason for existing at the time was separatism. In 1995, there was a referendum on whether or not Quebecers wanted to separate from Canada, Yes being separate, and No being stay. The final result was Yes: 49.42%, No: 50.58%, with more than 93% of eligible voters in Quebec casting ballots. In the months and even years following, things remained very heated. A separatist even broke into the Prime Minister's residence in a failed assassination attempt.

In 2011 and 2015, for the first time since 1993, the majority of Quebecers voted for non-separatist parties in a federal election, and most of Quebec's seats went to federal parties. In 2011 specifically, the BQ fell from more than 50 seats out of 75 in Quebec, to just 3. The provincial separatist party, the PQ, plummeted in the polls after stirring up separatist rhetoric in their 2014 provincial election, falling from an almost certain 1st place majority, to a distant 3rd. In a series of recent polls, more than two thirds of Quebecers are strongly opposed to separation.

I know the US has a different set of challenges, but I just wanted to say that, even when things look bleak, it doesn't mean they can't get better. It may be a long road, and there will probably be times when it appears to be getting worse, but that just means you have to be even more determined to make things better.

Offline jasc15

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2016, 12:08:54 PM »
Its interesting to note that the US to my knowledge hasn't, in recent history, faced such a severe existential threat as Canada did with the Quebecois separatism movement.  And Canada is mostly viewed as being more reasonable and politically stable than the US.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2016, 04:46:47 PM »
It's hard to see it.  The explosion of social media and the surging popularity of cable news have both been big factors in how divided the country has become.  Then again, maybe it was always this way and those outlets just make it more obvious; we can't be sure.

Offline orcus116

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2016, 09:06:54 PM »
Well the media certainly not helping since it's allowing bite sized, emotionally tilted headlines create the narrative instead of certain facts although I still think in the grand scheme it's just a bunch of assholes yelling opinions at each other. We may very well be at the beginning of a shift but I think it'll be a generational change before the results are really in. Ultimately I feel that the way information is presented now just allows a smaller minority of groups blow up their opinions into flavor of the week news stories and the vast majority just fizzles out when society latches on to something else to become opinionated about. I could just be looking at things from more of a short term perspective but I can't really think of anything that has truly divided our culture recently outside of personal opinions of "here's a thing and here are my thoughts on it". I'm talking about things that actually effect everyday life for your typical American.

Offline Chino

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 05:38:19 AM »
I can't really think of anything that has truly divided our culture recently outside of personal opinions of "here's a thing and here are my thoughts on it". I'm talking about things that actually effect everyday life for your typical American.

The biggest one that comes to my mind is the gay community. There's more too it than just marriage. They still face a ton of uphill battles when it comes to adoption and hospital visitation rights. They still can't donate blood. So stupid. There are also thousands of women who have lost readily available care due to the closing of many Planned Parenthoods throughout the country. Some assholes make some fake footage about black markets for baby parts, and innocent people lose their access treatment.

Guns have people pretty divided too. On one hand you have a group of people that believe we can somehow magically make 300,000,000 firearms disappear over night, and then successfully ban them forever. On the other hand, you have a large group of people that are convinced Obama has been taking people's guns away for the last 7 years. I personally don't know anyone who's had a firearm taken away or wasn't able to get the gun they wanted.

Religion causes some nice division as well. You have county's that have the story of creation in biology text books. If I was a resident in Kentucky, I'd be beyond furious in regards to how much of my tax dollars went to Ken Ham and his museum. There is certainly division in government because of the clashing of religion and science. We have senators saying things like "I take my religion seriously, this is what a lot of alarmists forget: God is still up there, and He promised to maintain the seasons and that cold and heat would never cease as long as the earth remains". That sentence alone proves that that man lacks any kind of basic understanding of climate and the Earth's history. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 05:50:39 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 11:40:03 AM »
I err on the side of "it's always been this way, but we hear about it more and we're living it" than anything else.  I think that the "living it" part is really most relevant, because the debate is so personal to some.  It's one thing to look through history and see a black man fighting to use that urinal, and to dismiss it as "that guy" and "some racist".  It's entirely another to BE that black man who isn't getting that job - but has a Twitter account - or that alleged "racist" who lost out on that job because of affirmative action. 

I know for me, now that I have kids and I am not 22 anymore, this stuff we talk about is a WHOLE LOT less theoretical.   Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz don't scare me philosophically, they scare me PRACTICALLY.

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: Will We Ever Be United Again?
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2016, 11:56:58 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 04:59:52 PM by Calvin6s »
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.