America, a nation teetering on the edge

The kind of question we the people of America should be asking ourselves, “Can we get along? Why is it that we can’t get along?”


On the edge of what? A catastrophe, an implosion, a disaster? It’s when a nation becomes rife with hatred and divisiveness to the point that it teeters on the edge, one step away from a national catastrophe.

That’s where America is today, teetering on the edge, This is a nation that simply is not what it once was. For anyone that disputes what the above title states and its meaning, that thinks that things in America are just fine, that the nation is merely going through some tough times, but will recover as it always does, then they better think again, and much deeper. 

Those paying close attention to what is going on realize that we are living in one of the most dangerous times in this country’s history. America, the nation that once proclaimed itself to be the exceptional, the indispensable nation of the world, is no longer capable of solving its greatest problems and, in fact, even addressing them. Its democracy is on life support and may not survive.

Listen to these sage words of advice: “a nation divided shall surely fall.” This country, its government, and society, unless they completely reverse the direction in which they are currently heading, will fulfill that dire prediction. 

First and foremost, there is the hatred and divisiveness that has been spreading across this country and seems to be escalating with each passing day. This has a great deal to do with the white supremacy that has been present in our society for a very long time. The problem is that it’s getting a lot worse.

Why has this situation become one which would take a minor miracle or an act of God, to reverse? Those who strongly support Trump, the perpetual liar, and his objectives, represent the antithesis of ethics, morality, honesty, integrity, honor, and decency. They are just like him.

Which Americans are the primary targets of this hatred that creates more and more divisiveness? They are African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Jewish people, Muslims, and others who aren’t classified as white people.

I often think about the words of Rodney King, the African American man that, years ago, was stopped by the Los Angeles police for a traffic incident, and then was viciously beaten to the point that he nearly died. Soon after he had recovered, he was interviewed on TV, and he asked this pertinent question. “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?” 

That’s the kind of question we the people of America should be asking ourselves, “Can we get along? Why is it that we can’t get along?”

I’m also reminded of the beautiful song “Get together” by the group, the Youngbloods. in 1967:

 Come on people now

 Smile on your brother

 Everybody get together

 Try to love one another

 Right now.”

Love one another right now? Sorry, not in the America of today. 

Let’s think about what is happening in America as we speak. 

Americans continue to kill their fellow Americans with no letup. This is a situation that now is starting to spin out of control, with “rogue” police brutalizing people and fine, upstanding police getting shot and killed in cities across America.

This “plague” that has spread across America has also embedded itself in the government, certainly in the House of Representatives, but to a far greater degree in the Senate, which could be described as the center of obstruction; a place where nothing of any substance gets done.

What is the greatest problem in the Senate? It’s the filibuster, the tool that is used by the minority that is out of power to block all meaningful legislation of the majority. It has become sacred to many in that do-nothing part of the government.

This tool of obstruction was used extensively in the 1920s to block important civil rights legislation. It’s been used very extensively by racists. If we were to do things the right way, the US Senate would be dismantled and the work it should be doing transferred to the House. Wishful thinking.

The Repubs think of this nation’s Constitution and the American democracy as being meaningless, something that just stands in their way. Rules, laws, and the principles of ethics and morals have no place in the new GOP agenda.

From USA Today: “Politics is the main driver of mental illness in the US. 88% of registered voters say “there is a mental health crisis in the US today.” Mental illness can be considered a natural result of generalized, embedded hatred and divisiveness.”

Speaking of mental health, we Americans had to endure 4 years under a mentally unstable president. The national media should have been reporting on his mental problems right along but refused to do it, no doubt because of its corporate masters that demanded silence. But his mental problems were and are real based on the studies of America’s most prominent psychiatrists. 

You should read the book by Bandy Lee, in charge of psychiatry at Yale University, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” We should have heard many, many discussions relative to this highly dangerous situation involving a president – but the word in the media was “keep it quiet.”

What is one of the things that could cause this country to come crashing down? It will be this former president, Donald J. Trump, one if not the most, dangerous presidents in American history; that is, if he somehow manages to get reelected to the presidency.

Did anyone do anything about putting an end to his racism, hatred, and divisiveness over 4 years? Nope, he was allowed to run rampant and do things to this nation, its government, and its society that likely are irreversible.

The Jan. 6 insurrection: this is also a product of hatred and divisiveness carried out by domestic terrorists. Jan. 6 should be taken as a warning for the future. We can look forward to future, sudden, unexpected attacks on various targets in Washington DC and who knows where else by Qanon, the Proud Boys, and other domestic terrorist groups. We’ll see if the government and local police departments will be able to deal with them.

Corporate America’s money and powerful influence still rule in this Congress. The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court is the poison that infected this Congress and turned it into a useless element of the government. Both Democrats and Republicans will never give up feeding at the trough of Corporate America, never!

Voter suppression: Let’s divide America, let’s put white Americans on one side and African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Muslims on the other. Americans against Americans when we go to the polls to vote. Now we can see why Republicans are so determined to use voter suppression to win elections; it’s “divide and conquer.”

Just think about these anti-democratic actions: “19 states have passed 34 laws restricting access to voting.” They didn’t create laws to increase access to voting but, rather, to RESTRICT it. We are quickly heading toward a situation in which voting is no longer a right.

We hear that Michigan Republicans “suggest bringing guns to voting locations and also to unplug voting machines.” And this same “call to arms” is happening in other battleground states.

And what of the American people? They have eyes and ears, don’t they? They see and hear what Republicans across many states are doing to suppress voting, to try to prevent many millions of Americans from voting. The vast majority of them are extremely concerned about what is happening in and to America but don’t know what to do. Trumpsters think it’s great.

The pandemic: at the same time the Micron variant is going wild across America, we hear that the US Supreme Court has ruled against Biden’s vaccine mandate for workers in large companies. At a time when every possible means should be used to bring infections down, the Supreme Court throws a monkey wrench into the process. 

How ridiculous is this? Here we have a country and a government that has mandated that we must stop at red lights, obey speed signs, and wear seat belts or be arrested. But when this same government attempts to mandate that Americans must get vaccinations to save countless lives, it is rejected by the Supreme Court. Pure, unadulterated stupidity.

Think about this: “You reap what you sow.” That’s an expression that comes from the Bible, and it says that at some point in time, the consequences of your actions “will catch up with you, and you will be forced to accept them.”

This nation is teetering on the edge. Whither America?


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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.