General Question

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is it possible to reignite a sense of unity among Americans today?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (25184points) January 28th, 2017

How should we go about doing so? What would have to happen for the majority of the left and the majority of the right (with exceptions for extremism on both ends) to see each other as friends rather than opposition?

How do we encourage civil discourse?

How can we change the “us vs them” “left vs right” “conservatives vs liberals” mentality that appears so pervasive in our current culture?

Is it necessary? Why or why not?

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31 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

With Orange Hitler on the throne and unquestioning allegiance by his voters, you would have the same chance trying to unify the Nazis and the Jews in 1938.

funkdaddy's avatar

It has become very popular to frame things as “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” or “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”, there isn’t room for compromise in those positions. They steel people against the middle ground and those positions attract blame and retribution.

Taking the view that we should find middle ground has become a position of weakness. Small steps are proclaimed as too little progress. Incremental wins don’t make the news or get shared on facebook I guess.

We change by recognizing how the extremes have manipulated the conversation and framed the actions of “the other side”. Everyone involved is a complicated individual, framing them by one trait dehumanizes them, often intentionally.

We can also change by recognizing small wins as progress and by learning that a good compromise can make both sides feel like they’ve achieved a small win. Progress should be celebrated, it’s not all going to happen at once.

We can stop demanding of others things we’d never give up ourselves.

We can recognize that there are some things we can’t fix.

We can recognize we’re more alike than different.

cookieman's avatar

A common enemy (North Korea?) attacking us directly and instigating a war would do it. Someone we can all hate together.

Not saying it’s a good idea, but it would work.

kritiper's avatar

All you ask for might be accomplished when the world wakes up to the realization that there are just too many people and that the numbers of people need to be thinned worldwide so that only 1 of 14 are left.
One HARSH remedy, I know! But the survivors would again cherish the lives they live and the lives of their fellow man, and the entire environment of the planet, as it should be.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Equally to common enemy, common cause, or hero.
I think if unity comes any time soon, it will not involve politics.
Something yuuuuge in entertainment, such as when Harry Potter was at its height, or the building of some major theme park which is completely new in concept.
A major medical breakthrough could do it, like no more cancer of any kind, ever, or a pill which reverses brain damage.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think that you greatly misperceive a disunity that does not exist.

I disagree with nearly all of my friends on political matters, yet we get along fine. I have friends who voted for Hillary, and friends who voted for Trump, and we all work together, socialize and agree for the most part that they were both terrible candidates who would have taken (and will take) us to dark places, and we’d better be ready for that.

I know just as many people who held their noses to vote for Trump as I know those who held their noses and voted for Hillary. I know committed supporters of each – and they get along fine, too, even if they argue throughout the day. Having disagreements is normal, natural, and does not disturb the sensibility of rational people who understand that difference in political outlook is not the be-all and end-all of who we are.

If you’re seeing other than that, then it could be that you live in an echo chamber where people have painted “the other” as a demon, and are now afraid of the demon that’s been painted, or (less likely in this group, I suppose) you consider yourself part of the “winner’s circle” and somehow in charge of making up an “enemies list” of folks to transport to the gulags.

Most of us in the real world don’t operate like either of those extremes.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I’m beginning to think the divisions are too deep.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@CWOTUS that isn’t my experience, but I’m glad to hear that it has been yours. That’s encouraging.

puddintane's avatar

Could not say it any better than @CWOTUS. great answer!

Jaxk's avatar

We need to improve the economy. There have been many periods of rancor and dissent but I’ve never seen it as bad as it is now. If the economy begins to improve and wages begin to grow again, the divisions won’t be so personal and dramatic. It’s easy to argue the benefits and pitfalls of policy on an academic level when you’re financially stable but we’re not. Changes can be scary at anytime but when you’re just scraping by they are no longer an academic argument. I believe that once the economy begins to turn around it will make a tremendous difference in our discourse. If it doesn’t, we’re in for a long ugly fight.

cinnamonk's avatar

I don’t think so.

I, for one, have no interest in “unifying” with the 64 million fuckheads in my country who voted for Trump, who continue to defend him despite everything he’s doing, or the millions of others who didn’t vote for him but support him anyway.

Sorry, not sorry.

Pachy's avatar

Sadly, I think it would take a national disaster like 9–11. And even then there would be an endless variety of reactions and perspectives. Social and mainstream media and our governmental “leaders” (as well as other factors) have splintered us beyond repair—in my opinion.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well not taking about registering religious minorities might help. Recognizing that sexual minorities are just as deserving of equal legal rights is a good start too.

(As an aside I find it amusing to see people advocate for mass die-offs of humans. Makes me think “why not lead by example then?”.)

Brian1946's avatar

@kritiper

Do you think the solution might lie underneath the Yellowstone caldera?

Isn’t that rather close to where you live?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Yes, but it will require an invading army assaulting US soil.

ucme's avatar

Your country is broke & it has nothing to do with Trump.
The disunited states of america is as it’s always been, split through it’s core with no repair possible.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Indeed. There is a reason why there are different countries, and differing cultures. Our country, while proud of being a melting pot, runs the constant risk of reaching a boiling point and melting beyond repair.
People cannot be forced to accept what they cannot. Feelings differ, beliefs differ, and if people try to force someone else their beliefs or feelings, emotions erupt.
Our president is not responsible for changing that.
His job is to keep the country safe, and prosperous.
Social service is not his deal. That is the responsibility of citizens.

kritiper's avatar

@Brian1946 Heavens, no! Nothing so trivial. I honestly believe that antibiotic resistant superbugs are our biggest threat. Any slight infection, any at all, could and would kill you. It has been found in animals as well as humans. MRSA was even found in seaweed on the coast of Oregon some time back. It/they are everywhere!
(If I thought some caldera might pose a threat, especially to me, I would think of the Mammoth Lakes caldera. Wind direction comes this way more than Yellowstone.)

kritiper's avatar

@ucme Yepper, we needs us some fixin.’ But we sure saved your asses in WWII. We saved everybody’s ass!!!

Patty_Melt's avatar

@kritiper, Mammoth is not a super volcano. Yellowstone would cause that worldwide population bottleneck you crave.

kritiper's avatar

BRING.
IT.
ON!
(I’m not so sure I crave it. Certain events are inevitable, IMO. Like the next eruption of Krakatoa.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Our problems are systemic. @Jaxk For the people who own the country, the economy is just fine. The stock market is through the roof and the Fed is is going to raise interest rates. So what conclusion should we on the ground draw from the current state of affairs? Our governments are broke, and our standard of living is on a steady slide South. SO where is the money and WHY is it there?

johnpowell's avatar

That ship has sailed. At least for me. If you voted for The Republican President you are not a great person in my eyes.

The Christmas before last my sisters son’s father showed with a Trump shirt and hat and I was pissed so I just hung out in my room. This year Christmas was at my apartment. He emailed me to find out where it was this year. I said he wasn’t invited. Nobody that was actually invited cared he, or his mom, or his wife, or his other kids weren’t invited.

I saved a ton on food and presents.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The single most effective chance for unifying us lies with the arrival of a demonstrable explanation countering the accepted version of the way our economy ACTUALLY works.

cinnamonk's avatar

if California secedes, as a Californian living in Wisconsin do I get dual citizenship?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 Interesting thought, because I too would have to ask about “Dual Citizenship”.

Patty_Melt's avatar

We all have dual citizenship right now.
Dems are dualing GOP, Chief is dualing press…

tinyfaery's avatar

Nope. California or bust. :)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Patty_Melt That is dueling like (Que the music) ==== > Dueling Banjos

Strauss's avatar

^^@Tropical_Willie just made dual dual posts!

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