Division between Democrats and Republicans are at an all time high. Heck, division within each party is at an all time high. The type of irreconcilable division we are witnessing is disheartening, especially when you account for the simple fact that most people, no matter what their party or political ideology, want what is best for their country.
That begs the question; How do they see their country?
There is no doubt that America has changed. Every generation observes ground shaking events, both domestically and abroad, that change the way we view ourselves, the world around us, and everything within.
The post-911 atmosphere left many (if not most) Americans having to start from scratch, reformulating how they perceived America and the world at large. Everything we had been led to believe suddenly felt a lie, or at the very least we were forced to recognize a naivety within ourselves.
How could we have felt so safe? So invincible?
In the mind of every American there was suddenly a void.
That void has become host to a new worldview, a new perception of America, and that depends largely on where you get your information from.
I had a discussion with a friend lately. We were speaking about the recent social media post that cites 97% of America’s poorest counties being Republican.
The post is accurate. It has been fact checked and holds up to close scrutiny.
What is not clear is what this statistic actually represents.
Those on the so-called left will cite Republican hypocrisy. Pointing to how the GOP regularly condemns and criminalizes socially and economically depressed areas. Given how Republicans repeatedly demonize Obamacare and the Governmental assistance programs, that the poorest among us rely on to maintain a quality of life, you wouldn’t expect the poorest counties to identify Republican.
On the right you hear the typical go to defense about liberal bias and how this statistic isn’t indicative of what the left believes. The right has no shortage of theory as to why The People struggle, from the oppression of big government to the outrageous and erroneous claim that Obama is in fact a Muslim, or a Lizard man.
But what does this statistic indicate? What can we discern from this interesting and seemingly counter-intuitive piece of information?
I have my own theory, and it doesn’t intrinsically rely on party affiliation or race, nor does it rely on intelligence, or the lack thereof.
In my eyes, this statistic is a testament to the lack of experiential information entering the bubbles within which the poorest among us live.
In my understanding, this statistic is indicative of a lack of education.
A broader education that goes beyond the limitations the poorest among us experience.
They cannot afford education or travel. They are limited in their exposure to the world at large. They do not have friends who study abroad, take regular vacations, or do much beyond the fifty mile scope they range.
What they do have access to is the mainstream American media conglomerate that offers a glimpse into the world at large. They have but to press a button and be given explanation for each and every world event, no matter how minute, and be ‘educated’ on the matter.
These poorest counties in America have to rely on media to explain to them the broader issues outside of their counties.
Now, taking into account the constant and incessant stream of negative and divisive news stories it’s no mystery that these individuals are fearful and reactive towards a perceived threat.
The cornerstone of the current Republican Party, and their supporters, is to take justified action against a perceived threat.
The reason that 97% of the Nations poorest counties are identifying Republican is because their worldview is literally formed through watching and listening to Republican leaning news sources.
The simple fact is that these 97% probably have never met a Muslim. They do not have many minority friends, whether black or hispanic, and they simply have no reason not to believe the biased and ignorant views expressed on FOX. Do we really think that the LGBT presence in their poor Republican County is significant?
You see, in order to believe the policy proposals of say… Trump, you must first believe in the immediacy and validity of a threat to America.
If you support the building of a wall you must first perceive the border as a porous membrane seeping refuse onto Americas pristine soil.
In order to believe that any and every Muslim entering America should be vetted as a potential threat you must first be convinced that a religious preference to Islam creates an increased likelihood that you are a threat.
If you want to support his slogan “Make America Great Again” you must first believe that he has fallen from a position called “Great” to something lesser.
The problem with these presumptions are simple, they rely more on opinionated rhetoric than they do on facts.
Here are some fun facts that expose the ridiculousness of the ‘threats’ we face.
Immigrants commit crime at a rate lesser than native born. Honey bees kill more Americans than terrorists. And America is absolutely still the greatest military power in the world.
We need to stop all this infighting that relies on a lack of research. Turn off the TV and start Googling. Read everything.
Do me a favor, take any issue at hand and research the validity of the claim and weigh its importance on your own. When you’ve found relevant information share it!
Thanks for stopping by!