Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Divide States of America

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. - Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was one of those guys who seemed miserable and cynical, but it was only because he was miserable and cynical. He was also right, almost all of the time. At one point prior to World War II, Vidal saw the potential for greatness in American society. Once the first atom bomb went off, Vidal watched as American society systematically turned into everything that cynical writers like him feared it would turn.

I started deleting political posts off of my Facebook wall and I feel much better for doing it. It isn't that I don't want to be involved in the American political process, it is just that the American political process has turned into a circus void of meaning and substance. The sad part is that the process will eventually crown a new leader, and I am not convinced that one candidate is really better than the other.

The years prior to and during World War II were critical in creating the America we know today. A country that was once fiercely united started to see cracks in its own armor. Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden under the watchful eye of a portrait of George Washington and Japanese internment camps showed that the United States had lost its way, and there was no hope of getting back on the right path.

At that point, the American public started to be divided almost in half. It was also at that point that corruption reached new levels as American politicians and business people clamored to make as much money as they could off the war effort. Once that war ended, so did the notion of the United States being a unified threat to evil and tyranny. With social media and the 24-hour news networks stirring the pot, the United States has become its own worst enemy.

Being a world power is a tremendous responsibility. It can be tainted by a sense of altruism that puts the needs of others ahead of the needs of our own. We have military veterans who are homeless on our streets, yet we offer shelter and food to illegal aliens and refugees. I understand the need to help others when they need it, but we should be more concerned with the needs of our own people before we spend our resources on those who are arriving here for the first time.

The United States has the weapons necessary to wipe out all human life on Earth several times over. In November, we are going to have to decide whether we give a boisterous and politically naive businessman access to those weapons, or a seasoned political pro who only seems interested in advancing her career at the expense of just about everyone else. The rest of the world is laughing at the situation we have put ourselves into. I am still worried sick about it.

In the next couple of months, the presidential campaign will heat up as the two nominees will slug it out face-to-face. The world will get to see the very worst that America has to offer, and the gap between the different classes in this country will only get wider. The haves are in no mood to give any help to the have nots, and the have nots continue to be fooled into thinking that voting will change everything.

If the people of this country were truly united, then corruption and greed would never stand a chance. But the powers that be keep Americans fighting each other because that helps to distract from the country's real issues. This election will create more questions than it will answer, and it will cause more problems than it will solve. In the end, a divided country continues to fool itself into thinking that one side is right while the other is wrong. The left and the right are two wings on the same bird, and that bird is headed for a crash landing.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident who is tired of presidential politics. You can follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or you can send him a message at