The division in America between the Left and the Right has gotten so bad in recent years, that the country is less unified than at any time in my remembrance. “Conservative” to liberals is has roughly the same connotation that “barbarian” meant to the Ancient Romans: “Not us.”And the feeling on the other side is mutual.
And the 2016 elections will only make the problem worse.
The division has become so deep, that even the most basic questions a civilization must ask itself result in different answers depending on which camp you talk to. On the problems of black America, one side says we live in a fundamentally racist society based on white supremacy. The other says that just isn’t so, and that serious moral and academic failings in black America are to blame for black underachievement and immiseration. On matters such as the sex change of Bruce Jenner and the LGBT movement in general, one side sees themselves as the vanguard of a new era of equal rights for homosexuals and other “sexual minorities.” The other side sees us as moving into an era of moral darkness and spiritual upheaval. One side says abortion is murder – and the other says it is not.
We cannot even agree to disagree anymore. Americans appear to have lost their ability to defend their political beliefs based on logic, common sense, and reason. There is simply what is believed, and to hell with anyone who tries to say different. However, this seems far more of a problem on the Left, where knee-jerk reactions of “racist” and “homophobe” are the soup du jour.
One can only imagine what aliens would think if they observed a conversation between a Huffington Post reader and Drudge Report regular. The conservative will make a truthful utterance on the topics of class, race, and/or gender. The liberal will then begin squawking a variety of vocal tones, such as the words “Racist” or “Bigot!” After observing this routine scene on several college campuses (a place that would also likely also mystify aliens), they would come to several conclusions.
1. When humans get into an argument, the argument is resolved by saying several words over and over again.
2. The vocal tones “racist” and “bigot” mean “submit”, “yield” or “give up”, because this is always what happens when they are uttered.
3. If you utter these vocal tones to powerful, wealthy people, doors will open for you. If you make these noises at your opponents, they will lose their jobs, be publicly shamed, and blacklisted from polite society.
The aliens would have no choice but to conclude that Americans were a backward tribe, ruled by a small few that know how to make certain vocalizations, instead of their public discourse set on a firm foundation of truth, logic, and common sense.