Can Americans be united/ work together? If so, how?

brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
-Aldous Huxley
***********
M.I.T.S.









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Comments

  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 20,540
    We can, but will we?

    if some consider this forum a microcosm of society overall, we may be fucked :lol:
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    hedonist said:
    We can, but will we?

    if some consider this forum a microcosm of society overall, we may be fucked :lol:

    LOL, I  was thinking that but didn't want to say it. But then, maybe this is where it starts!
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • ecdancecdanc Posts: 1,557
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?
    Pudding in and pudding in--don't feel like methadone. 
  • cp3iversoncp3iverson Posts: 5,963
    I really do think we can.  Most people are decent folks.  Most people aren't the loudmouths on both sides of the aisle that the press loves to show.  
  • RoleModelsinBlood31RoleModelsinBlood31 Austin TXPosts: 5,400
    I wish I could be the internet hitler and just eliminate social media entirely.  With the invention of smart phones, it’s really toxic and concerning that we can’t do anything but argue with each other all day.  Having differing opinions is human but the internet hasn’t really helped us evolve in a good way as a society I don’t think. We need to attend non political inclusive events to get us out of our houses and involved with each other regardless of our differences in productive ways.  And with the internet as long as there’s a meeting place for radicals they’ll continue to thrive in those dark corners of the web and spread their garbage.

    i worry about my daughters and their social experiences or lack there of in this new online world, and I just try to get them involved in as many activities as I can.

    that probably had nothing to do with this thread but your experience just  got me thinking about how everyone deep down is just a human being and most of us are inherently just trying to fake it until we make it.  There’s a lot of good things everywhere in this world and if we’re going to prosper we need to get off the internet and phones to start.  And with that I’m putting the phone down
    I'm like an opening band for your mom.
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 16,668
    i think it will take another 9/11. that is really the only way i see this country coming together. but if there is another 9/11 that coming together will be temporary because it will mean yet another war, and the cycle will go on and on and on and the two sides will get further apart. 

    people like me will never forgive or forget what trump has done. the division he has caused. we will never forget that the person who won the popular vote lost the electoral college twice in 20 years. we will not forget mitch m stealing a supreme court seat. we will not forget how the republican senate/mitch m have sat on 600 bills that will never get a floor debate, much less a vote. we will never forget the trump sycophants who are more concerned with owning the libs than anything else. i am tired of capitulating. i am tired of always having to be among those that have to give up what we want and compromise.

    the left and right are not going to meet anywhere close to the middle.
    "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."- Hemingway

    "i'm not here to start the fire. i am here to fan the flames..."

    If you have never failed, you have never lived.
  • what dreamswhat dreams Posts: 1,204
    edited February 7
    I really don't think half of the country even understands what is at risk. I'm talking about the half that doesn't pay enough attention or care enough to vote and participate. I'm more concerned about that problem -- people who just dismiss it and say they can't be bothered. One day they're going to wake up and wonder what the hell just happened and it won't be good. 
    I don't think in our lifetime we will go back to those supposed good old days of bipartisanship (I watched the video you posted). I think we are only in the beginning stages of something brand new, global in nature, and I don't think any of us have the wisdom or foresight to see what's coming out on the other side.
    We are living in such turbulent times, true. It feels like what pre-Civil War might have felt like, but I also think late Middle Ages/Renaissance, with the rise of absolute monarchs in response to the changing social structures of that day, with two civil wars in England and a bloody revolution in France. I think our little democratic experiment that came at the tail end of that is coming to an end, with maybe a second civil war book-ending our world dominance. I don't know what's going to replace it. I just know that this Congress put the nail on the coffin for democracy as we know it.
    Today I was helping one of my 7th grade boys with a reading assignment. He chose a library book about the T.Rex, and we read part of the first chapter together. It was all about T.Rex as the largest predator that ever walked the earth, with jaws and teeth designed for killing. For visual understanding, the author compared T.Rex to a human because he was bi-pedal with shorter arms than legs. My mind immediately wondered what fossils we will leave behind when we go extinct -- because I can't help but think we are on that path. Like I said, too many people just don't understand what is at stake. Most people are stuck fighting the old battles for power which are largely irrelevant, in my view, with our very survival as a species on the brink.
    It's all so bleeping depressing. Sorry, Brian. Onto some more uplifting reading for the rest of the night :-).
    Post edited by what dreams on
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?

    I base that on what I know of U.S. history from the the mid 1800's up until the early 1960's at which point it all became personal observation and keeping up with current events.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    i think it will take another 9/11. that is really the only way i see this country coming together. but if there is another 9/11 that coming together will be temporary because it will mean yet another war, and the cycle will go on and on and on and the two sides will get further apart. 

    people like me will never forgive or forget what trump has done. the division he has caused. we will never forget that the person who won the popular vote lost the electoral college twice in 20 years. we will not forget mitch m stealing a supreme court seat. we will not forget how the republican senate/mitch m have sat on 600 bills that will never get a floor debate, much less a vote. we will never forget the trump sycophants who are more concerned with owning the libs than anything else. i am tired of capitulating. i am tired of always having to be among those that have to give up what we want and compromise.

    the left and right are not going to meet anywhere close to the middle.

    I suspect you're right gimme, but I hope you're wrong.  I hope people will learn from the disaster that is this Trump era.  As for forgiving Trump his highly evil and egregious errors, no way.  The man is pure evil. But I don't necessarily think all his fans are evil.  I think many of them are mislead and or/ poorly educated.  I hope they see a new way some day. I hope I see a new way too because I still have a lot to learn about being a better person.

    As for compromise, I don't think of working so much as compromise as I do learning a new way altogether- starting with everyone trying harder, thinking better. 

    I know, pie in the sky thinking.  I can't help it- I like pie and I like sky.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • ecdancecdanc Posts: 1,557
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?

    I base that on what I know of U.S. history from the the mid 1800's up until the early 1960's at which point it all became personal observation and keeping up with current events.
    Brian, 

    Obviously, you and I disagree on a lot of things, but I don't think we disagree that the political environment right now is pretty crappy. However, I think it's important to clearly see the nature of that environment. Saying we're more divided than we've been since the Civil War I fear obscures the nature of our divide. Are we more divided than we were during Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Red Summer of 1919, the Civil Rights Movement, Suffrage, the Vietnam War? I lean toward "no" as the answer to at least some of those things. I don't want to derail the larger point of your thread, but I am genuinely curious about the *nature* of the divide you see--what exactly is that divide and how does it manifest?--because I think understanding the divide is crucial for deciding a) how we fix it? and b) if we want to unite. 

    To clarify that last part: another moment of significant divide was the Civil Rights Movement. Was the appropriate question at that time "how do we unite competing views on Civil Rights?" I would suggest not. 
    Pudding in and pudding in--don't feel like methadone. 
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 18,233
    No.
    Wish we could but the cat is out of the bag, the horse out of the barn, whatever....I don't see how we can reset and pretend most people are not angry and filled with rage/hate toward anyone who dates believe something other than what they believe 

    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • ecdancecdanc Posts: 1,557
    No.
    Wish we could but the cat is out of the bag, the horse out of the barn, whatever....I don't see how we can reset and pretend most people are not angry and filled with rage/hate toward anyone who dates believe something other than what they believe 

    So, does it all come down to being on the right side of history?
    Pudding in and pudding in--don't feel like methadone. 
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 18,233
    ecdanc said:
    No.
    Wish we could but the cat is out of the bag, the horse out of the barn, whatever....I don't see how we can reset and pretend most people are not angry and filled with rage/hate toward anyone who dates believe something other than what they believe 

    So, does it all come down to being on the right side of history?

    I don't have the answers.  Guessing from your earlier post in the thread that you think that is the way it will roll out -- equating it to Civil Rights and obviously all of the awful fucks who wanted to keep other races down ending up looking like what they were. 
    I can see that as a scenario.  Until Trump is out and the next person is in then we won't be able to tell.  I suspect the hate & anger will continue, regardless.


    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • ecdancecdanc Posts: 1,557
    ecdanc said:
    No.
    Wish we could but the cat is out of the bag, the horse out of the barn, whatever....I don't see how we can reset and pretend most people are not angry and filled with rage/hate toward anyone who dates believe something other than what they believe 

    So, does it all come down to being on the right side of history?

    I don't have the answers.  Guessing from your earlier post in the thread that you think that is the way it will roll out -- equating it to Civil Rights and obviously all of the awful fucks who wanted to keep other races down ending up looking like what they were. 
    I can see that as a scenario.  Until Trump is out and the next person is in then we won't be able to tell.  I suspect the hate & anger will continue, regardless.


    We agree here. 
    Pudding in and pudding in--don't feel like methadone. 
  • benjsbenjs Toronto, ONPosts: 8,110
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    This might just be a gloom in my airspace, but I don't believe it will happen. Stranger things have happened, but there are so many conditions that are opponents to progress. I'll have to preface this that I'm making a very big assumption about the 'average' American psyche, and another that averaging a population's personality a gross oversimplification of the USA, a massive assumption about parenting/education, and of course societal differences between Canada and the USA, but I'm curious how other people see these as right or wrong.

    Reasons I fear the USA is not likely to have rifts repaired any time soon:
    -when getting by is a top-of-mind problem for many, I can't imagine the prospect of arguing is one people want to waste energy on when they're already exhausted
    -we have given each other reason not to trust each other by not acting in good faith
    -we're by and large not trained how to debate or disagree effectively these days
    -too much communication over digital mediums where you can't look each other in the eye, see sincerity and empathy, and temper one's self, probably has some impact on our rate of emotional growth
    -we constantly focus conversations on themes of division and power dynamics (nation, continent, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.) and don't combat existing segregations with embracing of the otherness (I post this every now and then on here in case someone else will love it like I do - https://ncase.me/polygons/ ), which means they are perpetuated, and we often just aren't even exposed to opposing viewpoints
    -society spoon-feeds us regular messaging to influence our thought and we've let our guards down
    -we don't practice universal skepticism - we largely (and in some cases exclusively) practice it on ideas or authors we already distrust

    The sad and final reason that's the one that's got me down: the more we observe, the worse it looks, the harder we fear it is to change, and the less likely we are to try

    '05 - TO, '06 - TO 1, '08 - NYC 1 & 2, '09 - TO, Chi 1 & 2, '10 - Buffalo, NYC 1 & 2, '11 - TO 1 & 2, Hamilton, '13 - Buffalo, Brooklyn 1 & 2, '15 - Global Citizen, '16 - TO 1 & 2, Chi 2

    EV
    Toronto Film Festival 9/11/2007, '08 - Toronto 1 & 2, '09 - Albany 1, '11 - Chicago 1
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 22,142
    We can work together as people, it's the people whom we voted in office that lack the ability.

    When you look at the impeachment hearings and all down party lines the voting and opinions are the same there is something wrong.

    When a whole party thinks that Pelosi ripped up a legal document and wants her imprisoned there is something wrong.  The spin on her act alone leads me to believe that we are absolutely screwed with people whom are talking heads and who is in charge.

    Politics are extreme now.  The middle will get you swing votes but the head of the parties are all extreme one side or the other...
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?

    I base that on what I know of U.S. history from the the mid 1800's up until the early 1960's at which point it all became personal observation and keeping up with current events.
    Brian, 

    Obviously, you and I disagree on a lot of things, but I don't think we disagree that the political environment right now is pretty crappy. However, I think it's important to clearly see the nature of that environment. Saying we're more divided than we've been since the Civil War I fear obscures the nature of our divide. Are we more divided than we were during Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Red Summer of 1919, the Civil Rights Movement, Suffrage, the Vietnam War? I lean toward "no" as the answer to at least some of those things. I don't want to derail the larger point of your thread, but I am genuinely curious about the *nature* of the divide you see--what exactly is that divide and how does it manifest?--because I think understanding the divide is crucial for deciding a) how we fix it? and b) if we want to unite. 

    To clarify that last part: another moment of significant divide was the Civil Rights Movement. Was the appropriate question at that time "how do we unite competing views on Civil Rights?" I would suggest not. 

    I really think we should be less divided because most people have internet access- access to more information.  But social media has sort of "sabotaged" that information by making it too easy to "know" what is right (i.e. chose sides).  So factoring a misused tool that could solve so many issues yet aided in divided is part of why I say we are divided more than ever. 

    But let's assume I'm wrong and we have been more divided in the past than we are today.  Is the division we see today healthy, normal, not worth being concerned about?  Should I assume division is normal and instead of fretting over the state of things that way my time would be better spent making coffee?

    Coffee? Did someone say coffee?

    Umm, excuse me.  I shall return.  :lol:
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    benjs said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    This might just be a gloom in my airspace, but I don't believe it will happen. Stranger things have happened, but there are so many conditions that are opponents to progress. I'll have to preface this that I'm making a very big assumption about the 'average' American psyche, and another that averaging a population's personality a gross oversimplification of the USA, a massive assumption about parenting/education, and of course societal differences between Canada and the USA, but I'm curious how other people see these as right or wrong.

    Reasons I fear the USA is not likely to have rifts repaired any time soon:
    -when getting by is a top-of-mind problem for many, I can't imagine the prospect of arguing is one people want to waste energy on when they're already exhausted
    -we have given each other reason not to trust each other by not acting in good faith
    -we're by and large not trained how to debate or disagree effectively these days
    -too much communication over digital mediums where you can't look each other in the eye, see sincerity and empathy, and temper one's self, probably has some impact on our rate of emotional growth
    -we constantly focus conversations on themes of division and power dynamics (nation, continent, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.) and don't combat existing segregations with embracing of the otherness (I post this every now and then on here in case someone else will love it like I do - https://ncase.me/polygons/ ), which means they are perpetuated, and we often just aren't even exposed to opposing viewpoints
    -society spoon-feeds us regular messaging to influence our thought and we've let our guards down
    -we don't practice universal skepticism - we largely (and in some cases exclusively) practice it on ideas or authors we already distrust

    The sad and final reason that's the one that's got me down: the more we observe, the worse it looks, the harder we fear it is to change, and the less likely we are to try


    Once again, Ben, a rock solid answer.  I thing you summed up the "why" of our division very accurately.  I think the answer (if there is one) is better educating us as a society.   A high school and/ or college course on this subject (what would it be called?  Social and Political Conflict Resolution 101?) would be a good and useful thing.  You've provided a good central part of the Syllabus for such a course!
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    We can work together as people, it's the people whom we voted in office that lack the ability.

    When you look at the impeachment hearings and all down party lines the voting and opinions are the same there is something wrong.

    When a whole party thinks that Pelosi ripped up a legal document and wants her imprisoned there is something wrong.  The spin on her act alone leads me to believe that we are absolutely screwed with people whom are talking heads and who is in charge.

    Politics are extreme now.  The middle will get you swing votes but the head of the parties are all extreme one side or the other...

    Great point!  As I've shown elsewhere, our congress used to do that:
     


    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 14,951

    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 14,951
    edited February 7
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 14,951
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.
    Fuck 'em. Do they not possess those bootstraps by which to pull themselves up that they're always going on about? Let them have their idiocracy. We'll have them surrounded, too.
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 22,142
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.
    Fuck 'em. Do they not possess those bootstraps by which to pull themselves up that they're always going on about? Let them have their idiocracy. We'll have them surrounded, too.
    I ain't livin in no seceded state, that is for sure!!!
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.
    Fuck 'em. Do they not possess those bootstraps by which to pull themselves up that they're always going on about? Let them have their idiocracy. We'll have them surrounded, too.

    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.
    Fuck 'em. Do they not possess those bootstraps by which to pull themselves up that they're always going on about? Let them have their idiocracy. We'll have them surrounded, too.
    I ain't livin in no seceded state, that is for sure!!!

    I just don't see it happening.  It's a bit like a larger version of California talking about splitting into two states or the State of Jefferson happening.  Those ideas have been kicked around for a long time and have not happened.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 18,233
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.

    But they would have all of the guns. 
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • ecdancecdanc Posts: 1,557
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?

    I base that on what I know of U.S. history from the the mid 1800's up until the early 1960's at which point it all became personal observation and keeping up with current events.
    Brian, 

    Obviously, you and I disagree on a lot of things, but I don't think we disagree that the political environment right now is pretty crappy. However, I think it's important to clearly see the nature of that environment. Saying we're more divided than we've been since the Civil War I fear obscures the nature of our divide. Are we more divided than we were during Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Red Summer of 1919, the Civil Rights Movement, Suffrage, the Vietnam War? I lean toward "no" as the answer to at least some of those things. I don't want to derail the larger point of your thread, but I am genuinely curious about the *nature* of the divide you see--what exactly is that divide and how does it manifest?--because I think understanding the divide is crucial for deciding a) how we fix it? and b) if we want to unite. 

    To clarify that last part: another moment of significant divide was the Civil Rights Movement. Was the appropriate question at that time "how do we unite competing views on Civil Rights?" I would suggest not. 

    I really think we should be less divided because most people have internet access- access to more information.  But social media has sort of "sabotaged" that information by making it too easy to "know" what is right (i.e. chose sides).  So factoring a misused tool that could solve so many issues yet aided in divided is part of why I say we are divided more than ever. 

    But let's assume I'm wrong and we have been more divided in the past than we are today.  Is the division we see today healthy, normal, not worth being concerned about?  Should I assume division is normal and instead of fretting over the state of things that way my time would be better spent making coffee?

    Coffee? Did someone say coffee?

    Umm, excuse me.  I shall return.  :lol:
    I ask not because I want people to throw their hands up and say "why bother trying?" Rather, we all have to ask ourselves: who is it with whom I disagree (i.e., from whom I'm divided)? On what do we disagree? And is it possible to have common ground with that person (to "unite" as you put it)? For all of us, I believe there are some people we're not willing to "meet halfway" (so to speak). As an extreme example, the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville. I don't want under any circumstances want to unite with those people; to find any common ground. I want them not to exist.  
    Pudding in and pudding in--don't feel like methadone. 
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 14,951
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:
    brianlux said:
    dankind said:


    Oh believe me, I ask that sometimes!

    I keep pressing on because I believe in Vaclav Havel's definition of hope:  "Hope is not the conviction that things will turn out well.  Hope is the conviction to do what makes sense not matter how things turn out."
    And his country did the appropriate (and necessary) thing and split up.

    That won't happen because those who lean left would end up with California, Oregon, Washington, New York and most of New England, and the right knows they would be too weakened without those states in their new country.

    But they would have all of the guns. 
    But we've got the numbers.


    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 29,632
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    ecdanc said:
    brianlux said:
    This country is more divided than it has been since the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865.  I think it would be difficult to impossible to argue that this is a good thing.  There are many people among us who would like to see Americans be more united and work together for those thing we want and need (and you know my bias- I would hope for the good of the planet as well). 

    I've already post a graph elsewhere that shows show how Congress used to work together across the isle to get things done.  That working together has become increasingly less and less common to the point of being almost non-existent.  There are groups who would like to see us work together again (RepresentUs is a prime example) and even the occasional politician or political candidate emphasizes this desire (Andrew Yang is an excellent example). 

    So my question is, can we be more united and work together better again?  If so, how?

    An incident occurred at the bookstore yesterday that got me to thinking about this.  We had a customer who was looking for any books we had published by a certain press.  In the process of gathering them together and packaging them up to ship (he was visiting from out of state) we had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other a bit.  As it turns out, this man has a major position in a department under in the Trump administration and was hired by the president (I won't say who he is or what his position is as that is not relevant here, but I will say he is not war related and not likely at all anyone you would know of).  He was also a very personable man and it was a pleasure talking with him about his former work, about books, about organizing a library, pretty much anything but politics.  And I'm guessing he could figure out I'm not a Trump kind of guy (and you all sure as heck know that!) by my MATH. pin, but none of that mattered because we were working together packing the books he purchased and having a friendly conversation.  As he left, we should hands and he said, "Thank you, keep in touch."  Cool!

    I think we can work together.  We all want basically the same things and if you don't get it together, we will all lose.

    That's my 200 cents.  Yours?
    Really? How are you measuring this?

    I base that on what I know of U.S. history from the the mid 1800's up until the early 1960's at which point it all became personal observation and keeping up with current events.
    Brian, 

    Obviously, you and I disagree on a lot of things, but I don't think we disagree that the political environment right now is pretty crappy. However, I think it's important to clearly see the nature of that environment. Saying we're more divided than we've been since the Civil War I fear obscures the nature of our divide. Are we more divided than we were during Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Red Summer of 1919, the Civil Rights Movement, Suffrage, the Vietnam War? I lean toward "no" as the answer to at least some of those things. I don't want to derail the larger point of your thread, but I am genuinely curious about the *nature* of the divide you see--what exactly is that divide and how does it manifest?--because I think understanding the divide is crucial for deciding a) how we fix it? and b) if we want to unite. 

    To clarify that last part: another moment of significant divide was the Civil Rights Movement. Was the appropriate question at that time "how do we unite competing views on Civil Rights?" I would suggest not. 

    I really think we should be less divided because most people have internet access- access to more information.  But social media has sort of "sabotaged" that information by making it too easy to "know" what is right (i.e. chose sides).  So factoring a misused tool that could solve so many issues yet aided in divided is part of why I say we are divided more than ever. 

    But let's assume I'm wrong and we have been more divided in the past than we are today.  Is the division we see today healthy, normal, not worth being concerned about?  Should I assume division is normal and instead of fretting over the state of things that way my time would be better spent making coffee?

    Coffee? Did someone say coffee?

    Umm, excuse me.  I shall return.  :lol:
    I ask not because I want people to throw their hands up and say "why bother trying?" Rather, we all have to ask ourselves: who is it with whom I disagree (i.e., from whom I'm divided)? On what do we disagree? And is it possible to have common ground with that person (to "unite" as you put it)? For all of us, I believe there are some people we're not willing to "meet halfway" (so to speak). As an extreme example, the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville. I don't want under any circumstances want to unite with those people; to find any common ground. I want them not to exist.  

    Well, it is true, there will always be extremest. But I'm not sure they are as common as the media/internet would get us to believe.  For example, I live in one of the most conservative parts of California (El Dorado County- highly conservative and, yes, lots of guns) but even here there really aren't that many extremest.  Most people just go about their day.  When I attended a pro-impeachment rally on the steps of city hall, nobody got shot or run over or even harassed.  I just don't see the extremes being that prevalent among the people. But they are out there in big business and government.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









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