Our country is more divided than ever. Now what?

Star Parker
Conservative Opinion

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
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It doesn’t take a nationwide election year to tell us we’re living in a divided world, but has it always been this way? Two scholars at Vanderbilt University sought to quantify the economic, social and political divisions in American society over the last four decades. According to their analysis, the highest level of unity — 71.3 — was during the second quarter of 1991, as Americans were rallying behind George H.W. Bush in the wake of the Persian Gulf War. The lowest score was 35 in 2017, after the “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia during Donald Trump’s presidency. Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker makes the case that we’re divided because Americans have forgotten who we are as a nation, but she believes there’s always hope that things will get better.

It’s evident that our nation continues into a divide. And it’s no surprise, either, as we’ve lost the understanding of who we are. 

The Constitution continues to bear scars as more and more politicians seek to rip it into shreds. Our culture, especially the backbone of family, is broken. Our definitions have become so loose, that a Democratic member of Congress earlier this year said she couldn’t even define what a “woman” is.

And while the back of our currency may say “In God We Trust,” how many Americans still believe that? How many politicians believe in money far more than the affirmations of faith that are printed on it? Even socialism has become an acceptable belief by many. 

And yet, not all is lost. It never is. We always have the opportunity to change our path and chart a better course. That’s what this election, and every election, is ultimately about.

While Biden is still president, every election we experience a new birth of freedom. Will Republicans, who have gained more power in our Congress, help lead us towards the days of unity we once felt under Lincoln and Reagan?

And we will continue down an uncertain road for sure, disregarding the foundations of where we’ve been. This is always the history of America.  But we always come out ahead. We reach for the stars, we ended slavery. We had a civil rights movement of brilliance. And hopefully, this election will help take us in a better direction. But if it doesn’t, at least we have another opportunity two years away. That’s one of the beautiful things about our great country. That’s one of the beautiful things about a democratic republic. We get to start over every election cycle. 

And there’s one thing we can remain united on and that’s the we are free to express our value, our vote, in the election booth. 

 

For the first few chapters of our nation’s history, folks would say that the United States “are.” It was after a brutal Civil War and the efforts of Lincoln that folks said the United States “is.” 

Our story is no doubt one that has balanced the seesaw of division and unity. To be sure, debate and disagreements are the natural working order of American politics. But many Americans are rightly wondering just how divided we are today.

At Vanderbilt University, they attempt to measure U.S. unity through the Vanderbilt Unity Index. Taking into consideration different polls and statistics, they’ve found that while our nation was highly united during Reagan’s administration, we have continued a steep decline ever since.

But every American doesn’t need to look into the weeds of data to know this is going on. Just look out your window, or worse, turn on the news. It’s evident that our nation continues into a divide. And it’s no surprise, either, as we’ve lost the understanding of who we are. 

The Constitution continues to bear scars as more and more politicians seek to rip it into shreds. Our culture, especially the backbone of family, is broken. Our definitions have become so loose, that a Democratic Member of Congress earlier this year said she couldn’t even define what a “woman” is.

And while the back of our currency may say “In God We Trust,” how many Americans still believe that? How many politicians believe in money far more than the affirmations of faith that are printed on it? Even socialism has become an acceptable belief by many. 

And yet, not all is lost. It never is. We always have the opportunity to change our path and chart a better course. That’s what this election, and every election, is ultimately about.

While Biden is still president, every election we experience a new birth of freedom. Will Republicans, who have gained more power in our Congress, help lead us towards the days of unity we once felt under Lincoln and Reagan?

And we will continue down an uncertain road for sure, disregarding the foundations of where we’ve been. This is always the history of America.  But we always come out ahead. We reach for the starts, we ended slavery. We had a Civil rights movement of brilliance. And hopefully, this election will help take us in a better direction. But if it doesn’t, at least we have another opportunity two years away. That’s one of the beautiful things about our great country. That’s one of the beautiful things about a democratic republic. We get to start over every election cycle. 

And there’s one thing we can remain united on and that’s the we are free to express our value, our vote, in the election booth. 


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