Does America have a future where our present issues are resolved peacefully? No, this isn’t a rhetorical question. Instead, it’s a question that I have found myself asking myself ever more frequently, because I think the answer, or rather lack thereof, is cause for alarm. I would like for America to have a future, seeing that I was born here, I live here and I want to make a life for myself here. But America's fate has become increasingly blurry as the country seems to be trying to tear itself apart. It seems to me that the America of yore is effectively gone. What remains now is merely a spectre, a charade put on to cover up the stench of the decay within.
This feeling isn’t just isolated to me. Chances are that to some extent you’re on the same page, that things just don’t seem right. That America is in rapid decline, and that we are watching it in almost real time. The last year has seen political tensions approach a new height, from the tense and nail biting election, to the riot at the capitol, to last summer’s protests and riots. The prognosis is not good.
What holds us together as Americans? Or even what constitutes American culture? I challenge you to come up with an answer that is satisfactory for even a simple majority of Americans. That in itself suggests that the cultural divide between Americans is greater than ever, and one only has to go to a politically different ‘color’ state, county, or even household to experience this divide themselves.
In addition to the cultural divide, state governments too are finding less and less in common with each other. This on it’s own is hardly cause for concern (the states have always had disagreements about policy and such). Instead, what's more perplexing is that there are states that see a return of individual state sovereignty as awful and a threat to democracy, while the other half sees it as a return to form. For a country that started as a loose confederacy of independent states, the return of state’s sovereignty has somehow proved to be a highly divisive issue. If states are in disagreement about where to draw sovereignty lines, this is the type of disagreement that rarely ends in a peaceful compromise.
As it is, some have now reached a point where some are seriously considering ‘Peaceful Divorce.’ For those not ‘in the know’, would be a splitting of America into separate countries as a potential solution to America’s problems. And why shouldn’t they? If the decay and divide is as entrenched and widespread as many perceive it to be, what harm is there in wanting out?
I think it is safe to say that tensions have been high here in the good Ol' US of A. And it seems that there aren’t any trends suggesting that this is going away anytime soon. It will take some time for the current smog of chaos to disperse. Regrettably, many of us are unable to actually affect government decisions, and guide America away from the precipice that is close approaching. And when we finally cross over that precipice and the smog clears, I hope you are prepared for whatever damned beast that decided to uncloak itself. Try your best to not look away.
Can we fix America? Quite frankly, I think not. For what it’s worth, I haven’t been too far around the block, so take my claim with a grain of salt. I do think though that there is no clear political or cultural solution for the disease America has succumbed to. One can only hope that the fever to overcome this sickness doesn't lead to her ruin. For if her fever gets too high, chaos and strife are sure to take over completely.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.