The Great Divide In America


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The Great Divide
Who Is Trying To Splinter America?
NewsFocus, by Tim Watts 081209

Politics in general have most always been ugly and contentious when trying to govern, but the rancor and vitriol that exists today is arguably none like any other ever in this nation's short history. Right versus left has become a Hatfield's and McCoy's donnybrook, in every literal sense of the analogy.

It has always been said that it is not proper to discuss religion or politics in mixed company, but that age old adage could never be more true today. Americans have been pitted against each other in an 'us versus them' mentality. We are increasingly becoming a right versus left society. If you don't fit into that mold, then you are clearly a minority.

A divide has now formed and that is not good for the United States.

We appear to be losing sight of our cherished national heritage as Americans. It would  appear that we are having a much tougher time in coming together as 'united' states. Instead, we are becoming ever more fractured into divisive camps that no longer seem to be co-habitable with one another. This does not weigh in our favor as a country, or as a free people. This is of no benefit to our society. It is only a debilitating division. The only people to benefit from our social demise would be our enemies, those who would do anything to see us break apart from the inside out.

To this author, we are witnessing the break-up of America right before our eyes and it would appear to be by design. At the forefront, a once hallowed news media has fallen tragically neglect in its duty as the guardian of democracy. With the major news outlets now in the hands of a mere six corporations, it would seem that we are being steered like lemmings to the end of a treacherous cliff where democracy is in great peril.

The moral high ground of the media has been lost, sold to the highest bidder in a new media conglomeration that benefits the rich and corporate elite. This isn't to say that we no longer have reporters of integrity, but rather the media barons and overlords who control the reigns of today's news content have boxed them in with restrictive political borders and corporate policies that neuter and manipulate their investigative and journalistic efforts.

Added to this mix are the dangerous bought and paid for media mouthpieces who are increasingly presented to us as news reporters, when in fact theirs is nothing but jaded political commentary, meant to propagandize the news and twist it to fit a corporate or political agenda to which they 1) espouse, 2) are paid to hype, 3) have a vested interest in, or 4) all of the above. What we need to understand in this is that the interests of the common man are not being entertained or served. The bottom line appears to be telling us what to think and pulling the wool over our eyes with 'commentators' posing as news people.

Never in our media history have we had so many biased voices of disinformation and propaganda. As difficult as it is for some to accept, this media ruse started on the right, with people such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage and Laura Ingram, to name but just a few. These are some of the more egregious examples since they don't just spin the truth, they're often accused of blatantly lying about it. They do so because they are in lock-step with the far-right ideology of the corporate top-rung, or else they have simply sold their souls for millions of the almighty dollar.

NewsCorp and FOX owner Rupert Murdoch has openly admitted that he is free to print, publish or broadcast whatever he wants through his media properties, whether it is the truth or not. So much for journalistic integrity.

The left too has its own voices of persuasion to sway viewers of their political ilk, such as Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Arriana Huffington, Thom Hartmann, Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow, Jonathan Alter, etc., but there is one difference between them and the aforementioned right-wing talkers, they attempt to stay within journalistic guidelines, seldom resorting to unashamed fabrication or lying just to placate their progressive denizens, but how long until they too give in to the methods of Goebbells, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and the rest?

Rare indeed is the independent these days. Political division is the order of the day it seems in America. Right versus left has become all-out political warfare, with everything as fair game and nothing left off the table or out of bounds.

One common denominator between the two major parties has been the continual use of guest experts in their news programming, people trotted out as so-called authorities, or having an insightful and informed point of view. A major problem in this ploy has been the continual use of the same guests, over and over again. How is it that these same people are specialized in so many areas of expertise, worthy of opining almost daily on whatever topic happens to be the news of the moment?

It has become increasingly apparent to some that the repetitive use of these so-called experts has merely been as biased spokespersons or sales people for a particular, slanted point of view. They are used to influence opinions and sway public perceptions in propagating a focused political viewpoint. The brainwashing of America has become job one, rather than informing and educating the populace. Make no mistake about it, there is a war raging daily for an influential spot of prominence in your mind.

'We the people' now exist in a most sordid media climate that holds us in a perpetual environment of Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus progressive. It is an atmosphere that is no longer neutral of politics. It is specialized media, slanted the way you like it. Either you watch right-leaning FOX or you watch left-leaning MSNBC. (Although FOX would never let a left-wing group host its morning show, as MSNBC does with its right-leaning team of Joe Scarborough, Mika Brezinski and Willie Geist.) Nevertheless, news is now tailored to a specific political orientation. The line now begins to blur between non-partisan news to actual party-line propaganda.

Undeniably the biggest transformation in today's politics has been in the Republican party. Long considered the party of the rich and elite, the GOP apparently came to the realization in the 90s that their numbers were no longer growing. With the left being the party of the common man, the base for Republican growth is very limited when viewed in economic demographics. The disparity among the upper, middle and lower class has shifted dramatically, so a new course was plotted by Republican party leaders.

An effort has been made to redefine conservatism and liberalism. Liberals have been presented as immoral and open to anything, while conservatives have been re-cast as fundamentalist with Christian values. It worked for awhile, until many fundamentalists woke up and suddenly realized that the GOP wasn't exactly espousing the teachings of Christianity with its new Bush Doctrine of unprovoked war, illegal human torture, unwarranted search and seizure or unprovoked incarceration.

In the meantime, Democrats have worked hard to shed their 'liberal' label for a new moniker known as progressives, but a name change alone cannot close the divide that still exists between left and right. Those that continue to listen to and trust right-wing commentators and faux news outlets such as FOX news are brow beaten daily on the evils of being liberal or progressive. Democrats are painted as tree huggers, baby-killers and welfare advocates. They are falsely labeled as anti-Christian, while out to steal our guns. A disingenuous statement to say the least.

Fear has become an increasingly popular tool in the arsenal of the right. Fear is a most powerful force in coercing people to accept half-truths or outright lies. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels knew all to well about the persuasive abilities of fear and the far-right has now embraced them as well. The puppet masters behind the scenes that control our political parties and the media are dividing us with carefully selected issues to scare the population. So far, it has been working. Unfortunately, many of the TV sitcom lemmings of America are just simply too stupid to figure it out. Sadly enough, they are too afraid to look beyond their well defined party lines, failing to listen to both sides of the story.

Fear indeed is a powerful force. It closes open discussion of everyday facts and reality, forcing many to refuse to entertain what is best for all of us. Fear allows the weak and timid to blindly follow and trust those who support a narrow political viewpoint, without ever questioning the rhetoric behind the charge.

During the Bush II administration, the left talked of fighting to take our country back from a regime that admittedly looked down on the constitution as "just a goddamn piece of paper." A noble endeavor, but apparently not to those on the right who were willing to give up their precious rights for the false promise of protection from an omnipotent boogeyman named Osama bin Laden or the fear of Al Qaeda within their neighborhood.

Now, during the Obama administration, many on the far right talk of a civil war to restore the fundamentalist values of our country. They have been sold a false incendiary tale of sweeping taxation and Stalinist socialism. Once again, fear outweighs the truth of reality.

What it comes down to is that the political base and grassroots movement of each party believes itself to be of the higher moral ground, both sides seeing the other as a threat to their way of life. The perceived inflammatory rhetoric of either side has thus created a political divide, which in itself is clearly not good for our country. This mentality is only good for fomenting anger and anarchy. The raucous town hall meetings and heated public debate on healthcare serve to perpetuate and highlight this new discourse and our growing national divide.

One can only wonder if this isn't what someone, or perhaps some group behind the scenes, truly wants for our country.

You seriously have to question the discourse and vitriol that is being ratcheted up notch by notch in this country. It has become a highly focused and much concerted effort to pit 'us against them,' and that's the way the greater powers that be in this country want things. A two-party system is the way they like it best, because then it is a continual 'left versus right' mentality. Divisiveness is good, if you're out to break up a union.

The two-party system has always been a vulnerable platform to base a democracy upon. Led by a powerful far-right faction, today's GOP has become an overaggressive juggernaut, with our constitution squarely in its cross hairs. Meanwhile, the DNC has seemingly rolled over and acquiesced to being bullied and outmaneuvered on the political stage. The Democratic party is perceived as being grossly inept at marketing a coherent position to effectively counter a meticulous far-right plan for a fascist course and domineering corporate influence. A political mismatch of the highest degree, tailor made for government chaos and civil turmoil.

The old adage is that "united we stand, divided we fall." A case could be made that someone is trying to divide us, to conquer us, but who would stand to benefit from such anarchy in America?

To answer that question you need to be prescient enough to understand where such a course would lead us. It is inevitable that under such a scenario, our government would step in, possibly declaring martial law in an effort to stifle rival factions and suppress open conflict, yet that in itself would only escalate total anarchy, resulting in a total crumbling of society and our country. It is at that point that we would be ripe for the picking, either from foreign enemies who hate us, or from a powerful cabal vying for a new world order. In either case, the ramifications of civil disunity in America are not appealing, nor in the best interest of 'we the people.'

It would appear that we all need to take a collective step backward, as well as a deep breath and recognize when our government of "we the people" is threatened. It is imperative that we see behind the scenes and read between the lines to avoid being manipulated and agitated to a state of social discourse and political aggravation. It is important that we recognize those who would lead us astray politically.

We are being pushed into a fight that is neither left nor right, nor black and white. It is a class struggle of the uber-rich versus the middle and lower class, but we're not supposed to know that.

The role of big money has become an overwhelming influence in controlling the political climate of the United States, driving discourse to a dangerous level and our democracy to a threatening precipice. Where this animosity takes us as a nation is something we all need to come to grips with before we are steered into a precarious position of political acrimony and social anarchy. That's a weak spot for the world's greatest democracy to be.

It's starting to look as if that's where someone would like us to be.

A new world order is only possible when one of the last great superpowers is made to bend and break, to crumble from within. Let's hope that enough sane people outside the political arena can refrain from the infighting and recognize this potential weakness before our national anger becomes our Achilles' heel.

More reading:

Fascism In America

Right-wing voices unite

The Real News in the O'Reilly-Olbermann Feud

CNN Bans Radio Talkers As Guests

Frank Rich fears right-wing 'rage' will lead to violence

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Socialism Is Not A Dirty Word

Lemmings & Leaders. Which Are You?

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