Are there really “Two Americas,” the phrase we hear from all sides of
the political spectrum referring to the disparity between the have-nots
and the haves, the urban and the rural, the left and the right, the
intellectuals and the blue collars?
No; there are not two Americas. There are three.
There are the Native Americans, the hundreds of tribes who thrived for
thousands of years until they were forced at gunpoint onto quarantined
lands under treaties that are still being broken by both the US
government and private citizens. But they are Americans, with the right
to vote granted in 1924.
Secondly, there are the descendants of Africans who were kidnapped,
shipped, sold, and worked like animals until death. They were not even
considered people for the first 400 years. They are still living on
reservations in the rural south and segregated neighborhoods of the
inner cities. But they are Americans, with the right to vote since 1870.
Then, there are the European immigrants who settled this continent.
They guaranteed themselves, white men, the right to vote as their first
act of government in 1787. This third America has never been subject
to any legislative interference to its own pursuit of Life, Liberty and
Happiness. But now, after banishing one race, enslaving another, and
disenfranchising their own mothers, wives, daughters and sisters until
1920, they are angry because they realize that they have divided
themselves into a caste system not unlike the class structure they
imposed on Native Americans, African-Americans and women.
To trivialize our divided nation into what is essentially opposing White
Americas by calling it “Two Americas” is more of the same disrespectful
exclusion of the only true minorities we owe anything to in this country.
Everyone else came willingly, and most got a better deal here than they
did from the place they left. This latest excuse to elect a working-class
savior has no basis. All the ingredients for a Trump-like figure to rescue
the “Little (white) Guy” have existed for well over five decades, spanning
12 presidential elections that could have been opportunities for blue-collar
middle-class voters to express their frustration with "elite Washington."
We've had the working poor since Biblical times, wages have
stagnated for over 30 years while the cost of living has gone up, and
manufacturing began to decline well before that. Distrust of government is
epidemic, starting with the Vietnam War and Watergate.
So, what was so different in this election cycle?
The only factors that have never before occurred were these two events:
our first Black President, and the looming specter of his potential
replacement, a woman. That was the spark that lit the fire that blazed the
inferno that became the arsonists’ destruction of the integrity of our
government that is now swirling towards a conical abyss.
Rebuilding will obviously be difficult. Who will accomplish the hard labor?
Minorities, new immigrants, and women. Many of these people have two
things in common: adapt to survive, and don’t put the responsibility of
failure on someone else. Those are the same values that made our
ancestors achieve, for better or worse, success in this country we call
This government was founded specifically so that its citizens, and now
every citizen, would have an opportunity to shape their own fate, and also
shape the destiny of the nation. If we can’t continue to believe that, then
no cosmopolitan billionaire real estate developer is going to do it for us, no
matter what he promises.
If you want to Make America Great Again, you need to start with you.
Shadows dividing the icy river