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The Divided States of America

America is sick. We are more divided than ever and this has left millions of people feeling terrified, helpless, heartbroken, and angry. Hundreds of Anti-Trump protests have erupted all over the country, often leading to violence. On the other side, reports of hate crimes have been rolling in since day one emphasizing what many of us already knew; racism in this country is far from gone. It is easy to understand why millions upon millions of Americans feel like this could be the end. Reports of deeply religious Muslim families telling their women to forget their hijabs for the sake of their safety, while men celebrate by calling out “Grab 'em by the pussy!”, reminds us that though many of us might believe we dodged a serious bullet avoiding a Clinton presidency, it is no question we took a seriously critical blow to the head, anyway.

                We learned a lot of seriously mind-blowing information over the course of this election season, and what stands out the most to vast numbers of people now, is that we watched citizens of the world, alongside those of us in the United States, come together to support one man, Bernie Sanders. We truly experienced what it felt like to be united. The love and kindness felt among his supporters was and is something truly wondrous to behold. But the DNC had a different idea. While thousands descended upon the streets of Philadelphia in hopes to plead with the DNC to elect Sen. Sanders, they refused, and it was a very confusing time for many of us. That exposed how truly arrogant and out of touch the political and corporate establishments are with the rest of us. Whether by design or not, the blatant disregard for the will of the people has left us with a politically inexperienced nearly universally hated self-proclaimed billionaire to run the supposed greatest, most powerful, country in the world. America has become a literal laughing stock. A stark contrast to what we felt with the world when Bernie Sanders was going strong.

We learned a lot of seriously mind-blowing information over the course of this election season, and what stands out the most to vast numbers of people now, is that we watched citizens of the world, alongside those of us in the United States, come together to support one man, Bernie Sanders.

            America must now find a way to unite (for real, this time) and get out of this mess, or else risk erupting into civil war. Can it be done? While it certainly seems more daunting than ever, there are a few steps that could take us in the right direction. Firstly, Americans must realize how the economy really works and how the ground zero of partisan politics is rooted in the economic lies upon which each party stands. For example, if you look at a graph of government spending under different presidential administrations, you will notice that democrats actually spend very little. And vote blue mentality has exclaimed this to be a good and desirable thing often touting it like party bragging rights. While on the flip side you see heavy spending under Reagan, and W. Bush, but very little of that was put towards the middle class. The economic tug-o-war the duopoly has played over the last 40 years has left low-middle class Americans penniless, and stuck in the expensive revolving door of disparaging social programs or risking falling further back into poverty. Since democrats have not spent much, and republicans cut spending on middle-class, and influx spending elsewhere, the 99% are literally starving financially right now, and many just don’t understand why it’s happening. It may seem that partisan politics, itself, could be to blame because it prevents so many from seeing all sides of the equation. When Americans are encouraged to choose a side, it feels natural to disregard the one they didn’t pick, and excuse the one they did. A dangerous veil covering the eyes of millions.

            Also, the pressure must be kept on our leaders to address the imminent dangers of our reliance on oil, and, by extension, furthering the effects of climate change. We must be willing to take some responsibility in that, too, by doing everything we can at home to offset the effects through recycling, trash reduction/composting, water conservation, and boycotting companies and banks that are neck deep in the oil industry.  We are far too close to the point of no return on climate change, so if we don’t act now, then every single other issue will cease to matter. Facing certain death by extinction sort of dwarfs any other problem faced by humanity right now. If we can pressure our leaders to take the drastic measures necessary, then we buy ourselves more time to address, well, everything else. Through persuasive education, peaceful protesting, direct actions both at home and out in the field, enough people might be convinced that we must act now, and we may save ourselves just in the nick of time. Progressives in office, or not, we are all human and thus all face this same fate if climate change is left unaddressed.

When Americans are encouraged to choose a side, it feels natural to disregard the one they didn’t pick, and excuse the one they did. A dangerous veil covering the eyes of millions.

            Speaking of education, too many Americans just stop after formal education. Whether they stop at a high school diploma or continue through college, the education often ends at graduation. Sometimes there’s more supplemented education through job training, but it is certainly not mainstream to want to learn beyond what is required of us. Instead of going home and reading about ancient languages, or modern physics, most people go home and watch reality TV or other intellectually hollow entertainment. While indulging in some light frivolous amusement is all fine and good now and again, if it’s not countered with something of value, people are left insightfully bankrupt.  Living in a culture where it is viewed as “lame” to subscribe to such an intellectually diverse lifestyle, it isn’t difficult to see why so many people come up short. It’s just easier to remain ignorant. It’s just easier to get wrapped up in social circles and gossip, and having television shows like Jersey Shore, or whatever the Kardashians do, validating this lifestyle makes it all the more acceptable in such a cerebrally dull society. That isn’t to say everyone is like this, but there is such an overwhelming amount of it that we literally ended up electing one of these reality TV personalities as President. That sends a pretty clear message not just to American residents, but the world.

            Many are still digesting the news, and that is ok. This mess didn’t occur overnight, and neither will the solution.  But before too many Americans wallow in hopelessness and stick their heads in the sand for the next four (hopefully not more?) years, everyone must realize we are all going to have to do our parts to fix this. Someone must step in, and step up, and the more of us that do, the faster we can turn things around. Let us not waste too much time pointing fingers and being angry. Such behavior offers no solutions. Only actions can do that. Please, join us Real Progressives in the fight to turn this sinking ship around back to shore before it’s too late.  It is time for all of us to unite, whether you want to formally join us, or just participate in the revolution alongside us, this cannot be done without coordinated and concentrated efforts. Are you in?

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