What is pulling America Apart?

rambot

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I stopped myself from posting this opinion in another thread because I'm curious about what Americans in America think is pulling America apart.

I am 1000% convinced that the left and the right do NOT agree on what that is. As I'm outside of it, I have my own opinions on both groups. But from SPECIFICALLY where you sit, what do you think is causing the slow melting of America's standing.


My thoughts?

Right
Mass migration
DQSH/LGBTQ issues
CRT
Economic crisis (which isn't actually an ECONOMIC crisis...it's a distribution of wealth crisis as the rich get richer and the middle and poor get left behind....still)

Left
Greed/Corporate exploitation
Racism
The removal of rights for certain classes of people
Republican degradation of national institutions.



But really, what do you guys think.

https://aztownhall.org/resources/Do...he Extremes Pulling America Apart Summary.pdf
That's a link to a boring pdf that indicates that it is the extremism that's tearing America apart. Seems boring and, frankly, the "Extreme left" in America? I'm curious who that would include....
 

Paulos23

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Throw on top of that climate crisis (one is ignoring it, the other is doing some lip service to it) which will really divide the country as the habitable areas of the country change.

Honestly, that should be our number one issue. But both sides are not doing enough about it and the local efforts are not enough.
 
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Pommer

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I stopped myself from posting this opinion in another thread because I'm curious about what Americans in America think is pulling America apart.

I am 1000% convinced that the left and the right do NOT agree on what that is. As I'm outside of it, I have my own opinions on both groups. But from SPECIFICALLY where you sit, what do you think is causing the slow melting of America's standing.


My thoughts?

Right
Mass migration
DQSH/LGBTQ issues
CRT
Economic crisis (which isn't actually an ECONOMIC crisis...it's a distribution of wealth crisis as the rich get richer and the middle and poor get left behind....still)

Left
Greed/Corporate exploitation
Racism
The removal of rights for certain classes of people
Republican degradation of national institutions.



But really, what do you guys think.

https://aztownhall.org/resources/Documents/Bridging Divides to Build Community/Stuck in the Middle - The Extremes Pulling America Apart Summary.pdf
That's a link to a boring pdf that indicates that it is the extremism that's tearing America apart. Seems boring and, frankly, the "Extreme left" in America? I'm curious who that would include....
The paradigm that the party which is not in the White House must function as an “opposition-party”, (which works quite nicely under a parliamentary system, which our system is definitely not), seems to have been born in the 1990s under Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Our system relies on both parties working together to achieve a rough consensus without either party getting everything that it might desire, yet moving the Nation forward in a “two-steps forward, one-step back” sort of way.

They could move to a more parliamentary system but that would require a Constitutional Convention to repeal/replace Article One; this isn’t likely to occur anytime soon, though.
 
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timothyu

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Same thing that is pulling the world apart. More interest in self than in others and putting rights ahead of responsibilities especially to each other. Go shallow and politicize it all you want, but that is the foundation of divisiveness and the fall of every civilization. People want to see life as two sided but there is a third.
 
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ThatRobGuy

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At it's core?

I think it's bidirectional reactionaryism.

"Progressives wanting things to change" and "Conservatives wanting things to stay the same" is a dynamic that's as old as the day is long.

But in the last 10 years, both of those positions have gone on steroids.

The kinds of major social changes that would've normally taken 30 years to happen organically, started having advocates that wanted it to happen in 18 months, and people who weren't comfortable with those changes have been led to believe that the only bulwark against said rapid change is to overcompensate in the opposite direction.

And that resistance is then met by "stepping it up a notch" to act as a bulwark against the resistance.... rinse and repeat.


That, and the fact that "tolerance" is no longer considered to be "good enough". Not only does "the other side" have to tolerate a position, anything less than "bending a knee" and pretending the position is a good thing gets viewed unacceptable. Or in plainer terms, the old saying about "agree to disagree" is no longer applicable.

There was a time when "yeah, I don't agree with that...I still think it's wrong...but go ahead and do your thing, I just won't be inviting your to my dinner party" was considered an acceptable baseline level of tolerance and accommodation. That's been replaced with "you need to be bludgeoned into compliance so that you say out loud that my side is right so everyone knows my side is the winner"
 
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rambot

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At it's core?

I think it's bidirectional reactionaryism.

"Progressives wanting things to change" and "Conservatives wanting things to stay the same" is a dynamic that's as old as the day is long.

But in the last 10 years, both of those positions have gone on steroids.

The kinds of major social changes that would've normally taken 30 years to happen organically, started having advocates that wanted it to happen in 18 months, and people who weren't comfortable with those changes have been led to believe that the only bulwark against said rapid change is to overcompensate in the opposite direction.

And that resistance is then met by "stepping it up a notch" to act as a bulwark against the resistance.... rinse and repeat.


That, and the fact that "tolerance" is no longer considered to be "good enough". Not only does "the other side" have to tolerate a position, anything less than "bending a knee" and pretending the position is a good thing gets viewed unacceptable. Or in plainer terms, the old saying about "agree to disagree" is no longer applicable.

There was a time when "yeah, I don't agree with that...I still think it's wrong...but go ahead and do your thing, I just won't be inviting your to my dinner party" was considered an acceptable baseline level of tolerance and accommodation. That's been replaced with "you need to be bludgeoned into compliance so that you say out loud that my side is right so everyone knows my side is right".
Yes but there is a side saying "the dinner party hosts are pedophiles" when statistics bear out that their community harbours a far greater rate of pedophiles. But most importantly, there is Absolutely NO PROOF that the dinner party hosts are pedophiles OR dangerous to children.

Why should the dinner party hosts feel obliged to fight with reason if their opponents do not and continue to slander them?
 
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RocksInMyHead

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-​

Lies.
Yep - we live in a world where "truth" has become subjective. Feelings and opinions are treated as being of equal weight to facts and data, which makes it nearly impossible to hold a rational conversation with someone who disagrees with you.

This ties into a lot of the other posts made so far:

- the issues in the OP have become so divisive because, in a post-truth world, both sides believe themselves to be absolutely correct because they feel that they are
- the internet facilitates it, with echo chambers reinforcing the idea that one's feelings are factual and the spread of (mis)information being easier and faster than ever
- it's tied into selfishness; to believe that your opinions hold more weight than anyone else's is the height of selfish behavior
- tolerance is no longer "good enough" because why should people tolerate something that they know is evil and wrong?
 
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Pommer

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At it's core?

I think it's bidirectional reactionaryism.

"Progressives wanting things to change" and "Conservatives wanting things to stay the same" is a dynamic that's as old as the day is long.

But in the last 10 years, both of those positions have gone on steroids.

The kinds of major social changes that would've normally taken 30 years to happen organically, started having advocates that wanted it to happen in 18 months, and people who weren't comfortable with those changes have been led to believe that the only bulwark against said rapid change is to overcompensate in the opposite direction.

And that resistance is then met by "stepping it up a notch" to act as a bulwark against the resistance.... rinse and repeat.


That, and the fact that "tolerance" is no longer considered to be "good enough". Not only does "the other side" have to tolerate a position, anything less than "bending a knee" and pretending the position is a good thing gets viewed unacceptable. Or in plainer terms, the old saying about "agree to disagree" is no longer applicable.

There was a time when "yeah, I don't agree with that...I still think it's wrong...but go ahead and do your thing, I just won't be inviting your to my dinner party" was considered an acceptable baseline level of tolerance and accommodation. That's been replaced with "you need to be bludgeoned into compliance so that you say out loud that my side is right so everyone knows my side is the winner"
Well, for the people who have been patiently waiting through decades of repression of their in-group, there isn’t going to be a “changing ‘too fast’!” moment. They’ve waited long enough to have full equal rights with the rest of us.

To “out here” 18 months seems fast, to these formerly repressed people it’s been a very long time.
 
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timothyu

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To “out here” 18 months seems fast, to these formerly repressed people it’s been a very long time.
This is true.. so can we expect a new society, technology and civilization built upon their foundations or will it be considered cultural appropriation if they continue on with what has been, the great white entitlement civilization?
 
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SimplyMe

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I think there is a lot of truth to the idea that, for one group of Americans, the world is changing too fast; while to another group it is not changing fast enough. This issue was exacerbated by how America came out of WWII relatively unscathed -- the war was not fought here and we had no major rebuilding to do. Instead, we were helping the rest of the world get back on their feet, with the advantages of the jobs that created and the world's largest economy.

Of course, the rest of the world started catching up, after a couple of decades -- not helped by some of the decisions made by the WWII generation while they were on top. Additionally, with the advent of various technologies, to include electricity and various types of machinery (industrial, construction, transportation, computational, etc.), the world became smaller and the pace of technological innovations increased exponentially. The world was changing to a large degree.

Attitudes also started changing; from the wartime attitude where the nation and communities came first to the ideals of things like "rugged individualism" -- to oversimplify, as one movie put it, "Greed is Good." This includes the ideas of Ayn Rand becoming popularized, where if people just act in their own best interests to make themselves happy, it will help everyone in society to become "more."

OTOH, there were groups in America being left behind (such as Blacks and Native Americans), particularly with Jim Crow laws still existing. So, as the rest of America started getting more prosperous, it upset groups that were being left behind. They started demanding that they be included, that they be allowed an equal place in America.

Of course, as things for Blacks improved, things for "small town America" tended to get worse. As America prospered, and with the idea that making corporations more prosperous would help the nation, manufacturing jobs started leaving the nation to areas of the world where labor was cheaper. Family farms were becoming less and less profitable, as they more often had to compete with large corporate farms, and small town American shrank as they no longer had the jobs.

As such, many Americans feel as if they are being left behind. The towns they live in are dying, the homes they counted on as an "investment" are losing value, while for people in cities housing prices are skyrocketing, so working people can't afford housing where they can get jobs. This is exacerbated by, with the skyrocketing housing prices, wealthier people buying real estate as an investment -- raising prices and often removing housing from the market.

So you have some Americans who find the rate of change too fast. Computers, as useful as they are, scare many -- particularly with the various scams. Many Americans lifestyles are threatened by their towns dying off, often needing to move to find a decent paying job, etc. Other Americans are chasing jobs to find "success" but are finding that, even with a good job, they tend to be priced out of decent housing -- particularly if they want "the American Dream" of owning their traditional "white picket fence" style home. Last, many Blacks still feel left behind -- despite how things have improved over the last couple of generations -- and other minority groups look at what Blacks have achieved (in terms of civil rights, such as gays) and want protections to live their lives openly and to pursue their version of happiness. Not to mention, the idea of greed becoming "good" and feeling like they are falling behind "the Joneses" (the stereotypical next door neighbor who gets new cars and new leisure "toys", like boats and RVs, that the ones being left behind can no longer afford).

Thus, we've ended up with various groups -- groups that feel they are being left behind, whether small town America or traditionally persecuted minorities; groups that feel the world is changing "too fast," to include that the moral standards they grew up with are quickly changing; etc. And, of course, there are those who see the excesses of the past have become and are becoming even bigger issues in the future -- whether it be greed (particularly corporate greed), environmental issues, the loss of morality in the nation, or some other perceived problem.

And into this, we drop American politics, where it seems like many politicians care more about fanning the flames of anger of those that feel the world is "abusing" them (in the ways it is changing), doing it to promote their own political power while doing little that actually improves the lives of those they are allegedly "helping." This typically not only includes empathizing with people's anger but telling them who is to blame for their issues. This can lead to illegal behavior -- behavior they may not see as "wrong" -- whether it be to break into the Capitol building to "make their voice heard" or shoplifting, even openly looting stores to get what "they deserve" for the wrongs that have been done to them.

Admittedly, this is somewhat oversimplified and I'm sure I'm missing some pieces, but the fact remains that it is largely people feeling they are being left behind and being somehow "cheated" of the life they "deserve" -- whether that be to live in an old-fashioned small town or even a friendly neighborhood where you can leave doors unlocked all the time, or whether it is getting paid what they believe is a fair wage where they make enough for housing, food, and plenty of disposable income for toys and vacations. What we seem to get sold by politicians is the idea that is "others" are to blame and they need to be stopped -- without any real ideas about how to improve the nation.
 
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Pommer

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I think there is a lot of truth to the idea that, for one group of Americans, the world is changing too fast; while to another group it is not changing fast enough. This issue was exacerbated by how America came out of WWII relatively unscathed -- the war was not fought here and we had no major rebuilding to do. Instead, we were helping the rest of the world get back on their feet, with the advantages of the jobs that created and the world's largest economy.

Of course, the rest of the world started catching up, after a couple of decades -- not helped by some of the decisions made by the WWII generation while they were on top. Additionally, with the advent of various technologies, to include electricity and various types of machinery (industrial, construction, transportation, computational, etc.), the world became smaller and the pace of technological innovations increased exponentially. The world was changing to a large degree.

Attitudes also started changing; from the wartime attitude where the nation and communities came first to the ideals of things like "rugged individualism" -- to oversimplify, as one movie put it, "Greed is Good." This includes the ideas of Ayn Rand becoming popularized, where if people just act in their own best interests to make themselves happy, it will help everyone in society to become "more."

OTOH, there were groups in America being left behind (such as Blacks and Native Americans), particularly with Jim Crow laws still existing. So, as the rest of America started getting more prosperous, it upset groups that were being left behind. They started demanding that they be included, that they be allowed an equal place in America.

Of course, as things for Blacks improved, things for "small town America" tended to get worse. As America prospered, and with the idea that making corporations more prosperous would help the nation, manufacturing jobs started leaving the nation to areas of the world where labor was cheaper. Family farms were becoming less and less profitable, as they more often had to compete with large corporate farms, and small town American shrank as they no longer had the jobs.

As such, many Americans feel as if they are being left behind. The towns they live in are dying, the homes they counted on as an "investment" are losing value, while for people in cities housing prices are skyrocketing, so working people can't afford housing where they can get jobs. This is exacerbated by, with the skyrocketing housing prices, wealthier people buying real estate as an investment -- raising prices and often removing housing from the market.

So you have some Americans who find the rate of change too fast. Computers, as useful as they are, scare many -- particularly with the various scams. Many Americans lifestyles are threatened by their towns dying off, often needing to move to find a decent paying job, etc. Other Americans are chasing jobs to find "success" but are finding that, even with a good job, they tend to be priced out of decent housing -- particularly if they want "the American Dream" of owning their traditional "white picket fence" style home. Last, many Blacks still feel left behind -- despite how things have improved over the last couple of generations -- and other minority groups look at what Blacks have achieved (in terms of civil rights, such as gays) and want protections to live their lives openly and to pursue their version of happiness. Not to mention, the idea of greed becoming "good" and feeling like they are falling behind "the Joneses" (the stereotypical next door neighbor who gets new cars and new leisure "toys", like boats and RVs, that the ones being left behind can no longer afford).

Thus, we've ended up with various groups -- groups that feel they are being left behind, whether small town America or traditionally persecuted minorities; groups that feel the world is changing "too fast," to include that the moral standards they grew up with are quickly changing; etc. And, of course, there are those who see the excesses of the past have become and are becoming even bigger issues in the future -- whether it be greed (particularly corporate greed)

And into this, we drop American politics, where it seems like many politicians care more about fanning the flames of anger of those that feel the world is "abusing" them (in the ways it is changing), doing it to promote their own political power while doing little that actually improves the lives of those they are allegedly "helping." This typically not only includes empathizing with people's anger but telling them who is to blame for their issues. This can lead to illegal behavior -- behavior they may not see as "wrong" -- whether it be to break into the Capitol building to "make their voice heard" or shoplifting, even openly looting stores to get what "they deserve" for the wrongs that have been done to them.

Admittedly, this is somewhat oversimplified and I'm sure I'm missing some pieces, but the fact remains that it is largely people feeling they are being left behind and being somehow "cheated" of the life they "deserve" -- whether that be to live in an old-fashioned small town or even a friendly neighborhood where you can leave doors unlocked all the time, or whether it is getting paid what they believe is a fair wage where they make enough for housing, food, and plenty of disposable income for toys and vacations. What we seem to get sold by politicians is the idea that is "others" are to blame and they need to be stopped -- without any real ideas about how to improve the nation.
Wow, I must say that I find most of your posts cogent and well reasoned but this is stunningly good.
I might have to upvote this.
 
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Larniavc

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But really, what do you guys think.
America has been inculcated with the ‘American Dream’ that basically encourages selfishness: ‘the screw you I got mine’ mentality.

All the while feeding itself the idea that as long as they can look down on other people they are doing fine (even though they often have to have side hustles just to survive).

An American’s greatest enemy/fear/threat is another American so they cleave to those like them and hate and fear those unlike them.

And the people in the ruling classes are insulated from most of it by the vast wealth and power the American Dream has allowed them to syphon out of the economy.
 
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Yep - we live in a world where "truth" has become subjective. Feelings and opinions are treated as being of equal weight to facts and data, which makes it nearly impossible to hold a rational conversation with someone who disagrees with you.

This ties into a lot of the other posts made so far:

- the issues in the OP have become so divisive because, in a post-truth world, both sides believe themselves to be absolutely correct because they feel that they are
- the internet facilitates it, with echo chambers reinforcing the idea that one's feelings are factual and the spread of (mis)information being easier and faster than ever
- it's tied into selfishness; to believe that your opinions hold more weight than anyone else's is the height of selfish behavior
- tolerance is no longer "good enough" because why should people tolerate something that they know is evil and wrong?
-
...Yes, but lies are a characteristic of a kingdom of satan, which America is part of satans kingdom. Even though it was not around when satan came into possession of the earth's kingdoms.

...Only Israel was a nation God created and reserved for Himself, but even now they are left to the world after they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Truth will rule only when Jesus locks away satan and brings in His kingdom to rule the nations of earth.
 
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ThatRobGuy

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Yes but there is a side saying "the dinner party hosts are pedophiles" when statistics bear out that their community harbours a far greater rate of pedophiles. But most importantly, there is Absolutely NO PROOF that the dinner party hosts are pedophiles OR dangerous to children.

Why should the dinner party hosts feel obliged to fight with reason if their opponents do not and continue to slander them?
There's certainly a fair bit of that going on...

But to continue with that analogy...

If the wrongly accused dinner party host (and their friends) are, themselves, simultaneously accusing everyone who RSVPs "no" to the party of being fascists, that's not exactly helpful either.
 
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rambot

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There's certainly a fair bit of that going on...

But to continue with that analogy...

If the wrongly accused dinner party host (and their friends) are, themselves, simultaneously accusing everyone who RSVPs "no" to the party of being fascists, that's not exactly helpful either.
Fair enough.

But the invitees are the ones trying to the deny party hosts their rights. So that's kinda where thr analogy fails.

Also if they're trying to deny their rights, that's at LEAST on thr pathway to fascism.
 
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ThatRobGuy

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Well, for the people who have been patiently waiting through decades of repression of their in-group, there isn’t going to be a “changing ‘too fast’!” moment. They’ve waited long enough to have full equal rights with the rest of us.

To “out here” 18 months seems fast, to these formerly repressed people it’s been a very long time.
I'm not even exclusively referring to demographic group-specific issues here (though that is part of it)

It's really any societal or major institutional change.

There's a number of topics where activists seem to want Amazon prime turnaround times on their activism efforts.

... For one point of reference

Let's look at the topic of free college.

Finland, often touted as the gold standard in that regard, didn't implement that overnight. The negotiations and planning started right after world war II, and didn't get finalized and hashed out until the early '70s, and even then there was an 8-year implementation period.

You look at what some of the activists here in the US want, they clearly have an unreasonable timeline for when they expect it.

Signs like "Free College Now!", and chants of "Free college: That’s our right. What do we do? Fight, fight, fight" during protests...


Look at some of the actions of the climate activists. Not that they're not well-intentioned, but their actions convey and unreasonable expectation in terms of a timeline. Western countries start setting 10/20-year timelines (because obviously there's a lot of moving parts that need to be considered), the response? Greta gives her "blah blah blah" speech, and a bunch of kids start throwing soup on paintings and gluing themselves to snooker tables.
 
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ThatRobGuy

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Fair enough.

But the invitees are the ones trying to the deny party hosts their rights. So that's kinda where thr analogy fails.

Also if they're trying to deny their rights, that's at LEAST on thr pathway to fascism.
Some certainly fit that mold... But the accusations of fascism certainly aren't confined to just the people who actually want to deny someone else rights.

For instance, if I were to say "I'm cool with calling someone whatever name they want to be called, people can use whichever bathroom they like, and they should be protected from employment housing discrimination... but, I think there needs to be a bigger conversation surrounding things like like contact sports, and I think people may be jumping the gun a little bit by adding this to elementary school curriculums and giving people hormone replacement therapy after one visit with a physician"

Screenshot_20231104_103732_Samsung Internet.jpg


... That would be enough for the die hard activists to make such an accusation against me, despite the fact that I'm about 80% on their side.

It's basically forcing people to pick between two bad options
1- side that accuses everybody of being sex offenders who hate America

2- side that accuses you of being on the first side if you don't give them everything they want tomorrow
 
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