America Divided: Observations from a High School Senior

Kasey Flowers, Editor-in-Chief

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America is a nation built upon compromise, or so we like to say. In recent years, however, party lines have become more hardened than ever before in this, “the world’s greatest country.”  

 

In the past decade we’ve had two government shutdowns five years apart, in 2013 and 2018, both due to the inability of congressional leaders to look beyond party lines and work together for the betterment of the nation. It goes beyond this, however, from media outlets to citizens, it seems many can’t see past their own self-righteous: “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitude.

 

While many things are adversarial in nature, this country does not follow that pattern. We’re not productive as a people when we can’t see the other side. A lack empathy and understanding is slowly ripping the seam that holds the fabric of this glorious nation together.

 

This piece is not an attack on either side, it’s an observation. In classrooms to congressional assembly halls this is an issue that can’t be overlooked. Gary Jimenez, adviser for the chsarrow.org sums up the cause as follows:  “People want to believe what’s in their self interest.”

 

Now believing in what’s best for you isn’t something  wrong; for sure it’s American. It is wrong, however, when it gets in the way of continuously improving and bettering our country. The partisanship in America bleeds through all facets of life, it affects all of us. Our day-to-day, our week-to-week the decisions made, or not made, are what really affect us. Juliana Marquez, News Editor for the chsarrow.org, agrees, saying that “[People] won’t accept anything other than what they want.”

 

This divide isn’t about our President or our Congressmen, it’s about “we the people.” This partisanship begins and ends with us. We have to look beyond what “I want” and instead look at what “we want.” And no, this is not some pro-communism think piece in the New York Times; this is an observation from a high school senior. A high school senior who’s saddened by our country. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a liberal, a conservative, black, white, male, female, heterosexual, or gay because we all have something in common: we’re Americans.

 

There’s two things that run true to the American heart: you always look out for your family and your community, and that means a lot. That goes further than just the neighborhood you’re from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re from Barrio Logan or La Jolla, Lemon Grove or Del Mar, Compton or Bel Aire, you’re an American. The point here is that we’re all the same. Sure we all have different needs, different wants and different backgrounds.  We’re our own people. However, we all have one thing in common, the country we call home.

The continuous progression of our nation should come first, and no, that is not easy. Compromise is one of the hardest things as humans that we can do; we’re tribal and territorial and we always want to believe that we’re right. This, however, is not feasible; we are a country of vastly different people and due to this diversity, we can’t all be right, on all issues, all the time. We as a nation are a democracy. We are the face of democracy. We are the nation the world looks to as an example of what a democracy should be. And let’s be honest, that’s as it should be. So when the world looks at us they shouldn’t see a bunch of bickering children. They should see excellence, cooperation, and the reasons why this nation is the greatest to have ever been established on the principle of government of the people, by the people, for the people.

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