Divided in the United States
I’m Just Sayin’
by SHEILA SMITH
America is never more divided than during presidential election season.
You know it’s true. Picture neighbors Bob and Carl. They wave to each other every morning and sometimes chat at the mailbox. Until November, though, Bob has his Barack Obama sign on his lawn while Carl has stuck his Mitt Romney poster into the ground. Until the election passes, Bob and Carl will hate one another. In fact, Bob and Carl each wish the other would move to Canada.
The politicians recognize division and prey on that weakness. If the American people stick together, our stories are the same. Divided, we fall. It’s not unlike a police officer stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation then sensing something is amiss. Together, the driver and passenger have the same stories. Split them up and each one has their own answer as to their destination and what will happen once they arrive.
In fact, the candidates split us into such specific groups that we find it hard to relate to one another. As I watched some of the Republican National Convention last week, I realized that all of the little American groups we have been shoved into are being spoon-fed like babies.
A middle-aged blonde said to the camera, “Mitt Romney cares about women. He cares about our rights and he supports women in government.”
I laughed. After all, whether Romney or any other candidate supports women or not, we have come a long way since suffrage. Women certainly have no need to fight for rights as they did many decades ago. Is there even such a thing as “women’s issues” anymore?
Take a look at either presidential candidate’s official Web site and you will see that there is no shortage of cliques.
Obama’s site boasts groups including educators, environmentalists, people with disabilities, LGBT, young Americans and Catholics and Jewish Americans (the only two religious groups to have political concerns, I guess. A separate group is identified as People of Faith.)
Romney’s site isn’t much different. Some of his groups include farmers and ranchers, women, Polish Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and “Juntos con Romney” (basically Hispanic voters who support Romney).
Neither has a group simply called “Americans”. Everybody has to be different even though we are all Americans living in America.
From a historical perspective, no “group” has ever enjoyed more freedom and rights than we do today in America. Each group does have values and ideals they would like recognized or advanced but to say any of us have been left in the dark is inaccurate. For example, as a woman, I don’t understand why we are considered a distinct group or minority. What more could American women want in this day and age? I do not feel any of our rights are being threatened or stripped from us. Are some of us still crying over abortion and birth control as though this is the 1970’s?
The point I believe is that by separating ourselves into American sub-groups, we cannot come together as Americans. A president should not cater to groups but rather support and help carry out decisions that affect the country as a whole. Furthermore, what does it say about each of us as Americans if we are only concerned with what happens to our little club rather than what happens to our nation? Without America, our groups would not exist; being an American enables us to delve further into who we are within this country, such as black or white, male or female, city mouse or country mouse.
Short URL: http://www.jenningsdailynews.net/?p=13737