A Nation Divided
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Politics and Activism

A Nation Divided

The divided political landscape of 2016

A Nation Divided
Zachary Moskow

“December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” These famous twenty eight words by Franklin D. Roosevelt, which have been recorded throughout the echelons of history, not only consoled a grieving nation mourning the loss of 2,341 dead soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen at Pearl Harbor. They gave us resolve that America still had hope. Most of all, Americans, for the most part were able to put aside great differences and unite to win the war and send Fascism and Nazism to the dustbin of history. Regardless of party affiliation, race, or religion, all Americans stepped forward to serve their country or to work in what President Roosevelt called the “arsenal of democracy”.

There are many lessons to learn from this time in history, however, I think one of them is one that we today need to learn fast: we all have a responsibility to come together as Americans. Today, just a quick glance at the news and you will see that America has become a nation divided, perhaps not seen on a scale this grand since 1968. There are many reasons for this but I believe the greatest problem here is that people have become too absorbed in their own individual identities and subcultures. Today, the discussion has revolved around the various interest groups that dominate the news cycle. Case in point is Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks calling Donald Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables”. Maybe I’m just old school but I believe that it is fair game to attack a candidate’s politics, but never a candidate’s family or supporters. In this case and especially when according to polls that equates to about half the nation!

To me this also sets a troubling precedent. The job of the American President should be to unite the people and to give them confidence. More than 50 years ago, President Kennedy told the people to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. He did not say to ask what you could do for the President, or ask what you can do for your political party, he asked what you can do for the good of the nation as a whole. This is what could truly, to coin a phrase, make America great again, a true renewal of the American spirit and a collective sense of identity.

The bottom line is this, no matter who climbs the podium on January 20th, that person must have the conviction of the men who proceeded him in office like Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They must be able to represent all the people regardless of external factors. In addition, it is time after eight years of an obstructionist administration for the President and Congress to come together, compromise and look out not just for their political establishment, but for the good of all Americans.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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