The Growing Divide Between America Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

The growing divide between America appears to have been exacerbated by the election of President Trump in 2016.  Disruptive organizations like Antifa are prowling the streets and assaulting people.  Politics appear to be in everything.  A subject cannot come up without it being politicized.  For instance, a team wins the World Series and the conversation cannot be about whether the team was the best all year long or how they pulled it off but rather about will the team go to the White House?  A big reason for this is that the media constantly plays upon the political divide.  Roughly half of voters voted for Trump and half did not.  This represents a substantial difference among voters.  Many of those opposed to Trump’s policies come from liberal strongholds like California and New York.  Many working class voters showed support for Trump’s policies—like building a border wall, ending the wars in the Middle East, and draining the swamp in Washington, D.C.

The divide is worsened by economics.  Economically, the divide between the rich and the poor has never been wider.  A lot of this goes back to the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation (Reinicke, 2018).  Since the 2007-2008 economic crisis, many middle class and lower class Americans have had to deal with rising prices:  rents have soared, education costs have soared, health care costs have soared, and the prices of many goods and services have soared.  Yet their incomes have barely budged.  They have not had any significant raises in thirty years.  They are still making roughly the same amount of money they were making in the 1990s even though prices are not the same.  This has come about because in response to the 2007-2008 housing bubble crisis, the Federal Reserve launched unconventional monetary policy—i.e., a program of putting trillions of dollars back into the markets to help restart the economy.  However, when a bunch of new money is printed and funneled into the economy over a short span of time the obvious outcome is always going to be inflation.  Even though the government measures inflation to only be about 2% any working class American can look at where his rent or car payment is today, where the cost to go to school is today, where the cost for health care is today, and see that inflation is way over 2% year over year.  This awareness on the part of the working class makes them angry, which is why many of them voted for the “outsider” candidate that they believed was Donald Trump.  They felt the political class in Washington had betrayed them and sold them out to Wall Street.  They felt underrepresented by the government.  They wanted Trump to come in and destroy it all, raze it all to the ground.  That is how angry many voters were and still are.  They see the rich getting richer on the back of a stock market that does nothing but go up, and they resent the fact that they themselves have no way of benefiting from that market since they themselves have nothing to invest.  They live paycheck to paycheck while the wealthy class just gets wealthier.

The cultural divide is also significant and plays out in many ways.  There are those who support the troops and those who view the wars in the Middle East as illegal and unnecessary.  There are…

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…biologically the “girl” is still really a boy.  This kind of environment creates a great deal of tension and hostility, and one can sense it seething underneath the surface in America.

That is not to mention the growing racial tension in America.  Since the Civil Rights Era, the focus on race and racism has never been so loud.  To some degree, the get tough on crime era that started in the 1990s is to blame because many black communities have suffered the most.  Blacks are disproportionately represented in American prisons and their communities undoubtedly pay the price because it means fathers and sons, mothers and daughters are being incarcerated and the families are being torn apart even more.  They cannot get jobs when they get out and the cycle of recidivism continues.  This is a major problem too and now alternatives in the criminal justice system are starting to develop—such as restorative justice and rehabilitation programs.  However, the problem of race persists.

All of these factors are leading to an increasing divide in America and an increasing factionalism and tribalism.  People do not know how to unite anymore or set aside their differences.  They struggle for cohesion and yet cannot get along with their neighbors.  There is a lack of principle and a lack of values.  The basic order that existed a hundred years ago is no more.  Now people are just trying to make it from one day to the next in a world that seems increasingly hostile.  The media focuses their attention everyday on their differences and stokes the public’s anger and outrage with a new scandal every other hour.  Lone shooters appear every other week.  People are suffering from mental…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Reinicke, C. (2018). US income inequality continues to grow. Retrieved  from  https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/19/income-inequality-continues-to-grow-in-the-united-states.html

Smith, M. (2016). How did America forget what socialism means? Retrieved from  https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/obama-cuba-trip-socialism-21375


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