An American Society Plagued By Deepening Divisions, Irreconcilable Differences, Ongoing Violence


The American society is becoming more and more divided because of the various elements and factions within it that no longer will accept or tolerate the views and beliefs of their fellow Americans; views that are not consistent with their own.

At times it seems that the opposing sides of some key issue are engaged in a war; in fact two separate wars; one that could be described as an escalating and dangerous verbal war and another actual shooting war in which Americans are killing their fellow Americans.

Let’s start with the war of words as an illustration of the deep divisions and irreconcilable differences that exist within America.

The U.S. Congress is the site of a never-ending political war. Republicans and Democrats each use tactics of obstruction that result in a state of gridlock. Forget compromise, they simply have no intention of working together to carry out the functions of this legislative body. No matter how severe this nation’s domestic problems may be these two political entities use all their energy to block their opponent’s objectives and associated legislative initiatives. Their words clearly indicate the disdain each of them feels for the other’s ideology.

Then we have abortion which has, for decades, been an extremely controversial issue both in this government and the society. We’ve seen a continuous battle between two groups that hold totally opposite positions with regard to women’s basic rights and neither will budge an inch. Monumental amounts of time are spent arguing and fighting over this issue and politicians who should have better things to do, such as helping to govern this nation, keep barging into the middle of the dispute.

As we know there have been many acts of violence and even some murders committed by individuals who are determined to force women to submit to their dictates. It’s an issue that directly contributes to increasing divisions in this country.

Next there is Planned Parenthood and its clinics across America whose mission is to “to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services” to women. We won’t get into the pros and cons of this controversy but, rather, just point out that it has ignited strong emotions, sometimes violence.

Congressional committees have spent an enormous amount of time debating the role and actions of this organization with no substantive conclusions reached. This situation has been so inflammatory that certain members of the Congress have threatened to shut down the entire government over it. What a waste of Congressional resources, time and taxpayer dollars.

Then we have the very divisive and controversial issue of gay marriage. It’s one that is severely dividing this country and more than likely there will never be a meeting of the minds between the opposing sides. The media covered the case of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Morehead, KY who defied court orders and continued to deny marriage licenses to gay couples non-stop. They should have, instead, performed objective reporting on the grave situation in Syria which is of far greater importance but they’re hooked on controversy.

The voices of divisiveness coming from those such as Donald Trump serve to stoke the fires of anger and hatred. Trump is contending that one element of our population, Muslims, cannot be trusted and their activities must be monitored; and additionally other Muslims must not be allowed to enter this country; the goal here seems to be to create dissension and distrust among Americans to advance his own political ambitions. Who appointed Trump as the judge and jury in this country?

We can’t afford to let this hatred that exists in this society continue to grow or, at some point in time, America will descend into a 3d world country. Recently there was a news report involving Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, who said, “I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.” And that’s the head of a religious institution saying that.

Muslims have been identified as a great potential threat even though they are rarely involved in any of these mass shootings and other forms of violence. The lion’s share of them are committed by what we might describe as typical Americans who suddenly emerge into the radicals that they are, go off the deep end, and commit a mass shooting.

We try to rationalize the escalating problem of mass shootings by largely blaming mentally ill, demented individuals. However, all the Americans who are committing these heinous crimes are not insane; many of them know exactly what they are doing as they carry out their planned agenda of hatred of others for reasons only they know.

We watch as these atrocities spread throughout this country and, after another slaughter of innocents takes place, there is little to no outrage coming from the majority of Americans. The president issues his usual obligatory message of sympathy for the victims and their families, and the useless politicians in Washington once again look the other way. As they witness these incidents happen they don’t have the slightest inclination to even try to stop this ongoing carnage.

When we consider these three conditions, deepening divisions, irreconcilable differences and ongoing violence what conclusions might we draw about this society? It’s evident it is a very troubled one; one that is beset by a myriad of serious problems with which it, quite apparently, cannot cope. And so we see this frustration, anger and hatred rising to the surface.

We as a society need to recover our missing directional compass and get back on the right path. That’s a difficult task in this atmosphere filled with fear, apprehension and hatred. When Trump and those like him single out minorities, most recently Muslims, when this president constantly warns of the threat of terrorism and ISIS, when the controlled media obediently broadcasts their messages of fear, what Americans should do is to tune all of them out, turn them off.

Americans would do better by keeping abreast of conditions in the world, thinking for themselves, and then drawing their own conclusions as to what is really happening.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.