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America has become a divided country

By: Ryan Gambill

America is divided. I’m sure that’s not news to anyone reading this. The country is more divided now that at any point since the Civil War. There is a reason for this, and I think I know that reason, but it will take me a moment to get to it.
Now, I want to emphasize a point here, and please bear with me after I say it. Are you ready? Barack Obama is not your enemy. No, now don’t flip the page. Here, I’ll make it bipartisan. Donald Trump is not my enemy. I suspect that many of you reading this feel about Barack Obama the same way that I feel about Donald Trump. To put it mildly, you don’t care much for him. And that is perfectly fine. I don’t care much for Donald Trump.
But here is the thing I want to emphasize – Donald Trump is not my enemy nor is he evil. I can think of only two issues that I agree with Donald Trump on. I would not vote for him and I would not support him. But he is not my enemy. I do not hate him. I do not think that everything wrong in the world is his fault. I do not think that he is the leader of some vast conspiracy to take away my freedom. I don’t think he has sinister intentions for me or for the country. He is simply a person with whom I disagree politically. It is probably safe to say that 90 percent of this town doesn’t agree with me politically either but I don’t hate you. I don’t consider you my enemy. This place is my home and I’ve met many of the people that live here. None of them are evil. Most of them don’t have a thing in common with me politically but that does not make them a bad person.
America is divided now precisely because of the mindset that says anyone who disagrees with us is evil and with evil there can be no compromise.
But I want to stress this point again – Barack Obama is not evil. Neither is Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is not evil and neither is Bernie Sanders. George W. Bush was not evil and neither is Hillary Clinton.
It seems that since the 1980’s both sides of the aisle have taken to simply labeling their political opponent as an enemy and not having anything to do with them after that. We can’t do this. We can’t make it as a country in the 21st century with this mindset. We have to be willing to compromise. We have to meet each other in the middle.
We constantly worry about terrorists attacking us, but in many ways we are more of a threat to ourselves than they are to us. They don’t need to come and destroy our country. We’re doing it for them. We’re dividing ourselves. If ISIS did something to cause us to fight amongst ourselves the way we do, we would have already invaded six countries to kill them. We cannot keep doing this. We need to find common ground. We need to respect our fellow human beings regardless of our differences. We have to do this.
The future of our country depends on it.