I want to thank Fareed Zakaria. His Washington Post opinion essay and his June 18, 2017 CNN GPS classroom were enlightened statements providing background to address our country’s major contemporary challenge. He analyzed how focusing on identity leads us to a divided people.
This challenge is what divides us as a people. We are divided maybe more than any time since Reconstruction. We hear from some (stereotyped as urban Democrats) about other Americans. The “others” are deplorable, racist, slothful, uneducated bigots working in justifiably dying businesses like coal mining. These “others” are obsessed with cruel and often self-serving markets.
Contemporaneously others (stereotyped as rural Republicans) call out “salon-dwellers”. They are seen as soft, out-of-contact, coddled, snowflakes unknowing about basic survival skills in the real world which is often unfriendly, unremunerated, and sometimes violent. These solon-dwellers are one-trick-ponies – arguing always for more government.
Identity More than Economics
His Washington Post article emphasized that today so many of the issues we confront are more about identity than economics. Economics historically has created emotional divisions but these fissures can be welded back together because there is a middle-ground for resolution. Identities on the other hand are very personal. It is more difficult to resolve because there is no in between only those like us and those who aren’t. Every issue is an island with treacherous waters between.