Thursday, July 15, 2021

Divided On Almost Everything

A big problem in the United States today is that we have reached a point that there are large divisions on what people believe about the most fundamental issues.That also extends to the trust they have in the important institutions in America

A few decades ago that was not the case.

There were shared beliefs that were held by most Americans irrespective of political beliefs or identification.

People believed in the fundamental idea of the goodness of America.

They believed that the Founders set forth a nation that was unique in its commitment to individual freedoms and rights and its exceptionalism.

They respected police and their role in maintaining safety and order in society.

They respected religion and the truths and values that flowed from it. 

They believed in the U.S. military to protect us against foreign enemies.

They believed in the justice system to provide equal justice under the law.

They believed that the public schools would teach students without a political agenda.

They believed that the news media would provide fair reporting and be a watchdog to hold people in power to account no matter what the political party or station in life.

It is difficult to find unity on almost any belief today. 

That is particularly true when you look at the deep divisions in the confidence that Americans have in their institutions.

Gallup recently did a poll asking Americans what their degree of confidence was in various American institutions.

To say that there is massive trust gap is an understatement.

This chart compares the % difference in Republicans and Democrats when asked whether they had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in various institutions.

76% of Republicans have a lot of confidence in the police. Only 31% of Democrats do.

62% of Democrats have confidence in the Presidency. Only 13% of Republicans do. However, in 2020 it was exactly the opposite. How did that happen?

51% of Republicans express confidence in organized religion. Only 26% of Democrats do.

43% of Democrats say they are confident in public schools. Only 20% of Republicans feel the same.

The entire survey list shows that almost all institutions have lost the confidence of the American people over the last year.

The biggest losers---Public Schools down 9 points. The Medical System down 7 points. Any ideas as to what caused this?

The only winner---Police up 3 points. I guess the defund the police narrative is running into reality.

Here is the complete list looking back to 2019.

Here is the complete list by party identification for 2021.

There is a lot of emphasis placed on diversity these days.

We hear all the time that diversity is a strength.

That is true if there are common values, beliefs, goals and objectives that are shared in a nation, organization or group.

If these foundational principles are not shared uniformly, diversity is a weakness, not a strength. In point of fact, diversity is a fatal weakness if the foundational principles are not aligned.

Consider marriage. Men and women separately have unique talents, perspectives and cognitive approaches. When combined, these add tremendous value to a union of two people. However, if the man and woman do not share the same core values, beliefs and goals the other elements of diversity will wreak havoc to that union.

If we cannot agree on the BIG issues what hope is there to be united on anything else?

That is a question worth asking.

What foundational values, beliefs and principles can we build on?

When we have reached the point where the flag is viewed as a political, rather than a patriotic symbol, there doesn't appear to be much left to rally around.


It has been said that America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within.

Some attribute this statement to Abraham Lincoln but there is no proof he ever spoke or wrote these words.

He did say the following which captures the sentiment. The last paragraph seems to have been the inspiration for others to paraphrase Lincoln's thoughts in the way that it has been.

This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it? — At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

That is an excerpt from Lincoln's "Lyceum Address" which was delivered in January, 1838. At that time Lincoln was 28 years old and was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He had not even met his future wife, Mary Todd, at that time. He had been practicing law for only two years.

How right Lincoln was even though he did not know that a Civil War loomed two decades in the future. 

Those words foretold why Lincoln was so committed to not letting the union be ripped apart.

How right he still is today.

Do we have those in our midst who will not let the United States of America die by suicide?

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