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Friday, April 28, 2017

America: A Long History Rich in Deep Division

~ Illustration of the NY Draft Riots of 1863 during the Civil War

A lot of people particularly on the left like to argue that we're a deeply divided nation with the point being it is specifically because of Trump

Yeah, right..  Like we were a united nation who loved and respected each other in some kind of symbiotic kumbaya relationship prior to 2016

Truth is from the inception of our nation in the 1789 when George Washington was sworn in as President to the present, we've been a nation that has really disliked one another
From political factions at each other's throats to sectional difference leading to war to just a deep dislike of one's fellow neighbor for a multitude of reasons, the hate for each other has always been there

There has really been only a few occasions where the nation was truly united, or as close to it as possible for a country of diverse people

The first instance was when Washington was President (1789-1797) as he served two terms unopposed and there were no political parties, the only time in our nation's history..

Not everyone agreed with Washington's policies at the time but pretty much there was unity and most wanted him to serve a third term but Washington declined, believing two was enough..
So when John Adams (Federalist Party) and Thomas Jefferson (Anti-Federalist Party) ran against each other in 1796, it was the first time the American people were outwardly aligning with different sides and having very heated arguments with their neighbors as to the direction of the nation

And because that election ended so bitterly with Adams winning, the Jefferson faction made it their business to sabotage his Presidency at every turn and do whatever necessary to get Jefferson into power in 1800, which they succeed in...

The next brief period of harmony in the nation was during the Presidency of James Monroe, our 5th President (1817-1825) which was known as the "Era of Good Feelings"
The Monroe Presidency marked a period in the political history of the nation that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans in the aftermath of the War of 1812.

The Federalist Party collapsed and with it, an end to the bitter partisan disputes between it and the dominant Democratic-Republican Party (formerly the Anti-Federalists)

During his time in office, Monroe strove to downplay partisan affiliation in making his nominations, with the ultimate goal of national unity and eliminating parties altogether from national politics.

So everything seemed really peachy keen
Then the Election of 1824 between John Quincy Adams (Whig Party) and Andrew Jackson (Democrat) which was very heated, quite personal in its ferocity and ended up being settled once again by Congress, this election in Quincy Adams' favor

The Jackson loyalists were livid and like the pro-Jefferson supporters of a generation prior, did everything they could to make Quincy Adams a one-term President

And they succeeded..  Jackson won in 1828, became the 7th President and the two political parties (the Whigs ultimately disbanded in 1852 and re-branded themselves as Republicans from 1856 onward) have been at each other's throats since
Then of course you had nearly 80 years of sectional hatred.. North v South; slave states v free with the West acting as mediator and compromiser in all national disputes of the day

Different states threatened to secede for different reasons prior to 1860 but eventually backed away due to political pressure or threat of the state being invaded

This followed the needless Civil War where 600,000 died really for nothing and then another 11 years of brutal Reconstruction that took Southerners another 100yrs or so to shake the deep hatred they had for the conquerors of the North
Then from the 1870s to 1910s, there was a lot of tensions over the waves of Southern and Eastern European immigrants pouring in, free blacks taking the jobs of whites, workers unionizing and striking left n' right...

There was brief unity during World War I,  lot of it do to Woodrow Wilson threatening to arrest anyone who spoke out or wrote negatively on US involvement (a good lesson for Trump on dealing with today's media)

Then once the war was over, the nation bickered over involvement in the then-League of Nations and issues of neutrality, the depression that hit America hard in the 30's, etc
WWII was really the last event to unite the nation though it was only because we were attacked by the Japs..  And somehow we stayed pretty much unified until we dropped our bombs over Japan then back to the petty squabbling and Dem v Rep hate

Then add the generational hate between black v white, rich v poor, God fearing v Atheist, , the traditionalist vs the social-progressive,  the peacenik v the 'war mongerer', etc...

And you begin to see we've never been a truly united nation; we've always been at each others throats with the opposition party resorting to lies, slander, defamation and every other dirty trick to disparage whoever is the opposing sitting President
We've always had demonstrations, protests, violent confrontations, rebellions and even riots.. Hundreds upon hundreds in our long history..

Here's a link of the list from 1783 to the present.. It is a long one..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States
So any liberal Trump hating piece of crap who wants to act like we can not get along as a nation because of our President either does not know their history and/or is a bitter emotionally retarded, angry little person

Democracy is messy, little ever gets done and it allows people the illusion that because they have a vote every so often, that they have input into the direction of the country

And the losing side never wants to respect the outcome, much less the person who defeated their guy or gal

Its just some people handle it maturely when they lose (Republicans) and some do not (Democrats)
And as we get larger and larger as a population and more regional in terms of our politics (every Presidential election, there are really only 8 'swing' states.. the other 42 are forever 'red' or 'blue') the more bitter we as a nation will become toward one another

Besides, no one person in the Oval Office can serve the needs of 320+ million people and growing

So expect hostilities between left and right to get worse, never better..

Especially if/when Trump wins in 2020