America needs to heal our divisions
It is not a secret that America is the melting pot of the world. This title holds a lot of weight and speaks to the nature of who we are and what we stand for. The United States is a country that is uniquely diverse with multiple ethnic, racial and linguistic diversities; it is a nation of many different nationalities.
However, as anyone can clearly see, our unique and sought-after diversity also brings about clear and present tension. That tension seems to be dissipating our American morale. Although America is a country with differing opinions and ideas, the one thing we can all agree on is that we cannot seem to come to a consensus about anything.
One of the privileges of living in a democratic society is that everyone is entitled to the First Amendment, or the right to free speech. As a result, numerous individuals voice their opinions to our government in hopes of achieving policy reform. However, since the United States is such a melting pot, Americans cannot come to an agreement on anything, aligning totally with their political party, thus leading to a gridlock in the system.
Our country is at a critical moment in its life with the recent presidential election. Rather than trying to move forward with public policy reform, the people of the United States are more concerned about trying to prove their fellow citizen wrong. The United States has entered a new era of hate, which can be seen through multiple outlets like social media and the national news.
There needs to be a change in our system. Rather than continuously dividing our political system through extremist values, government officials need to listen to the needs of the everyday people. However, the people of this country also need to learn how to work together to come to an agreement on how to move the United States forward as a collective whole rather than continue to be two divided parties stuck in a gridlock.
Nonetheless, Americans continue to argue, unwilling to listen to one another. We as a nation have turned into selfish individuals whose primary concern is ourselves rather than looking out for the good of the congregation of citizens in this country. When did America deviate from the plurality and focus on the singularity?
The U.S. Constitution states “We the people,” but America has lost the meaning of this statement. I know that America is so diverse in its population that we will never fully agree on everything, but never agreeing on anything is a major hindrance to our political system. Unless there is a major shift in attitude and the way we look at politics, the citizens of the United States will continue to argue and disagree, rather than listen to one another and try to reach a consensus. This will leave the American government with no choice but to create public policy which will lead us down the path to nowhere.
Emily Barron is a senior majoring in anthropology. Her column runs biweekly.