Part 1: The issues that divide us and what we can learn from our history.
That we are a divided country right now there is little doubt — politically, gender-wise, racially, and economically. And the intensity of the sentiments on both sides has led many to believe we are irretrievably broken as a society. But is that the reality?
Probably not. There have been times in our history that we have been divided before, such as during the 1960’s. In fact, we’ve faced worse. We had a civil war, and our revolutionary war was far from a rah rah by the entire citizenry in favor of independence. Estimates by historians put it at about 25% for, 25% against, and 50% could go either way. The truth is America is nothing if she’s not resilient, and we will eventually find our way out of this jungle, as we have in the past.
Still, these are difficult and scary times, and that kind of atmosphere is distracting. As they say, when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp. At some point we will need to focus on finding solutions to work together and stop obsessing over hating the opposition.
In this first part of a series on this issue, Bill Wood and Peter Goldsmith get into the issues that divide us, and begin touching on what we can learn from our history and the social sciences to get us again moving forward as one nation.
If we do not learn from history
We shall be compelled to relive it
But if we do not change the future
We shall be compelled to endure it….
And that could be worse.
— Alvin Toffler