The Divided States of an (Ever) Vulnerable America

AP Photo/Mark Tenally

I understand. I have a sweet tooth as well.

There can be an allure – heck, almost an outright craving – to continue down the path of slights and wrongs. In 2020, there are plenty of them. In the 21st Century, we have endured far too many – notably if you are Black, poor, disenfranchised, or impacted by the multiple recessions that we have gone through from 9/11 to the pandemic.

It feels good. There is a point to it. There is a moral high ground to enjoy within it. Heck – displaying that truth for all to see can even be downright delicious in the right moment. And yet, for all the snowflaking of modern-day America, the most nostalgic approach to addressing our woes is persistent woe within the system and with the challenges at hand to push America to evolve into its next iteration of greatness.

It worked for former slaves. It worked for oppressive women. It worked for “undesirable” European immigrants in the 20th century. It is working for modern-day immigrants and newly minted Americans. It must start working again now for all of us. After all, with all the division within the nation currently and the shifted focus to long-shot lawsuits and feel-good rallies, we have forgotten paramount purposes for our Union and mounting challenges for our fellow Americans.

If I were Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia – not to mention ISIS or al-Qaeda – I would be waiting another 15 minutes or so for the United States of America to continue destroying itself from within. Another round of “not my president” – after hearing that from 2008 to 2016 to now – would delight me. Emerging teases of secession from lawmakers and former members of Congress would put my troops on the ready. Ongoing work to depress the patriotism of Americans would prompt my propaganda machine into overdrive.

The disjointedness of election laws and the apparent acceptance of annual “irregularities” (e.g., precincts reporting over 100% turnout of voters) drives me nuts. So, too, does this ridiculous notion that the best way to save America is to divide it among the “law-abiding states” and those that are not “abiding by the laws”.

Quick: who gets the military?

In 3 seconds: who gets the international trade deals?

Another question: who inherits the national debt to others around the world?

The primary purpose of the United States of America is to secure the national sovereignty of our people. With this constant chatter of permanent philosophical division and flirting with secession, we jeopardize the very things we collectively claim to defend. Those that want to see the fall of America will not attack us with weapons of war such as bombs and missiles. They will (continue to) attack us with ideas of toppling the national identity through corrupting our education system and civic pride. They will (continue to) attack us with actions that erode faith in the Constitution and its tenets, with urban Americans not trusting that the Constitution will offer comforts of equality and rural Americans not trusting that the rule of law will provide stability and consistency for society.  They will (continue to) confuse us, distracting us with notions that the reality before us today is the permanent reality for all tomorrows in our nation.

Quick: how long did the president with likely the third-most political capital ever coming into office (i.e., with Washington first and FDR in 1932 a likely second) have a supermajority on Capitol Hill?

If the nation did not fall after the Rise of Obama (and his moment where “…the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth…”) due to a Tea Party wave 24 months later, why will it because Republicans continue to control most states and a new presidential administration faces more potential gridlocks than mandates for radical change?

Lovers of liberty, our American backbone still requires a straightening-up. Our economy will limp through 2021 at this rate, with job creation slowing in November. Our confidence in government will continue to wane, as more leaders shut down states such as Pennsylvania while questions with the coronavirus – from potential false-positive tests to lack of compliance with their own mandates – remain. Our confidence in the ability to move forward together is rocked by external forces rooting for the worst and internal factions that have lost focus on the foundation of what this nation has become in the modern world – for ourselves and for world stability. It has been proven that, when given the mantle of leadership, it is up to constitutional conservatives to extend ourselves to heal this nation, love this nation (more than we currently even like each other), and elevate America to its next iteration of greatness.

As we round out 2020, our vulnerabilities right now must be more our focus than our causes or symptoms for divisiveness – even if our concerns are just and the moral high ground is ours to take. America is bigger than George Washington, Abe Lincoln, or any one woman or man. In fact, America is a notion, an idea, and a bond. Slavery, a civil war, world wars, lost wars, civil rights lynchings, and political assassinations have not permanently severed the lifeblood of liberty for all from the body politic that is nourished by our efforts. Perhaps we have not truly been the America we cherish for quite some time in the fullest of senses. Perhaps we never were for all citizens within our home. Yet now is the time to embrace the “United” of our state – through bitterness, violation, and pain – because our internal discussions and decisions that continue to divide us remain closely watched by our external foes.

The talk of it all remains sweet to the tongue, but its settling within the depths of our nation simply erodes who we are.