One of the thoughts that I have focused on for quite sometime is the great divide within America. For a long time I felt that there were two main parties involved in this battle. However, after further consideration, there is a third party passively involved, but critical in determining the outcome of our future. The parties:
- The political right: Conservatives, libertarians, and others who believe in a more literal interpretation of the United States Constitution. These are they who believe in the freedom of the individual, property rights, and in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are they who believe that the government that governs least governs best. These are they who believe that each individual American should have the right to pursue his dreams, but also be allowed to fail.
- The political left: Liberals, progressives, socialists and others who may give lip service to the Constitution, but find it an impediment to achieving their aims. The political left may give lip service to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but also believe that the government should provide for those who may be struggling at the expense of those who have been successful. These are they who may speak of dreams, but regulate them out of existence.
- The middle (not a political middle): This includes that huge group of Americans that have so little interest in the governance of their communities and the nation that they fail to vote or even fail to register to vote. It also includes many who vote, but have no core political philosophy. They are swayed by campaign retoric and media hype. Unfortunately, it is this group that unwittingly determines the course of American politics. And, since many from this segment of the population have no core political philosophy, they are often swayed by the promises of politicians.
So, the question is this: Is there any way to resolve this great political divide. Continuing as we have done over the past 100 years will only take us deeper into socialism and lead us closer to the edge of bankruptcy. Should the conservatives prevail, the progressives will not stop. The Occupy Wall Street crowd, the unions, and other liberal organizations will continue their protests, maybe to new levels. Unfortunately, it is my belief that only a collapse of the system as we know it will give us a chance to start anew. I hope it doesn't come to that.
Last evening I watched an episode from the 1980s mini-series, the Winds of War. In that episode, one of the German generals challenged Hitler about preparedness for opening the western front. Hitler verbally tore this general apart. Though a political extremist, at times Hitler was brilliant, but he led Germany into a hole that has left an eternal scar on that nation. Hitler was the result of a vacuum that was created in a political system that failed. Hopefully, American can turn away from failed policies before it meets such a tragic fate. I believe that we can only bridge the "great divide" as we honestly seek the truth, learn from history, and be open to reasonable discourse.