America vs USA

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America vs USA

Postby edy420 on December 11th, 2020, 12:14 am 

Is America becoming two different countries, in one?

I think the political landscape, is evidence that America is made up of two cultures. There seems to be a broad number of cultural ideologies, that are directly opposed to each other.

Up until recent events, it was amazing to see two cultures live side by side. These cultures could tolerate each other, enough to work at the same jobs, eat at the same restaurants, hang out socially etc etc and still vote differently. That's now changing.

With the cultural disparity, exponentially diversifying, I have to wonder..

Can two cultures completely opposed to each other, coexist in one country? Two presidents?

Maybe, un-unite the States. Trump runs one, and Biden-Harris runs the other.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 11th, 2020, 1:01 am 

It is not two cultures. And there is no direct opposition of 'cultures'.
A large number of people have been misled by a demagogue, because they had been predisposed, by two generations of propagandists for special interest groups, to follow any histrionic spokes-puppet who throws very public tantrums on what they think is their behalf. There is no substance to his promises or their expectations: it's all slogans and marching around with guns in an illusion of empowerment.

The US is a federation. Moreover, it is post-colonial federation: a patchwork of European relicts, conquerors, natives, predators, immigrants, romantics, refugees, pioneers, huckster, abductees, innovators, migrants, opportunists, missionaries, social experimenters, runaways, stowaways, castaways, castoffs and carpetbaggers. Somehow or other, all these disparate elements formed viable communities, which together formed a very successful nation. As in any federation, internal disagreements, notably over the allocation of resources, between groups and factions arise from time to time. These problems are worked out if the constitutional framework was well made and the system of government it robust.

But there has never been a nation undamaged by corruption. Some forms of governance and some economic arrangements are more prone to corruption than others. Corrupting influences, from within and without, can divide any nation into factions - can very possibly destroy any nation. The American system of government is in dire need of a major overhaul, but I think it can recover. The economic arrangement needs more drastic reform, and I'm not confident that any currently existing political entity is strong enough to achieve that.

If the US broke up, it won't be into two tidy halves. It might be into six or eight or more regional parts, but none of these would be without internal unrest. Quite a lot of border-adjusting, cross-migrating, deal-making and probably shooting would have to take place before it was all resolved into some sustainable new configuration.
And how could any of that happen with all the flooding, blowing and burning?
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Re: America vs USA

Postby edy420 on December 18th, 2020, 2:53 am 

Ironically, the same day I started this thread, Rush Limbaugh suggested America is trending towards succession, whether we want to or not.

Ben Shapiro covered Rush's comments the following day, and it's amazing how many people in the comments section want to split. Many feel their differences are unreconcilable.

Ben went on to criticise a Liberal meme from 2004, where its suggested that many States should join Canada, and then many of the southern States become 'Jesus Land'. He thinks its rediculous, but its a more suitable idea now, than it was back in 2004.

If it comes down to blows, I think the guys with the guns are gonna win.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 18th, 2020, 10:45 am 

I was listening to something last night. They were saying that some years ago travelling across the States was almost like going to a lot of different countries, one after the other, such were the obvious cultural differences. This was a very well travelled man.

These days it's not like that, he said, and I more or less quote, 'People look the same, dress the same, eat the same things' and so on.

I just mention it for what it's worth.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 18th, 2020, 11:09 am 

To be clear, Limbaugh has always played to the lowest of commonest denominators. This time, he's not even backing up his own rhetoric. I don't know whether his own succession is settled, but what happens to America after him is really no longer any of his business.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/rush-limbaugh-trump-secession-election/2020/12/10/8889397a-3b0d-11eb-bc68-96af0daae728_story.html
Rush Limbaugh isn’t saying he wants the country to split into red and blue factions as a result of conservative fury over the election results. As he attempted to make clear Thursday, he’s just saying that other people are saying it.

Sounds a lot like Trump's "People are saying, some very smart people...." when he's quoting the echoes of his own idiotic pronouncements by his own tame media chorus.

What do you suppose would happen in Georgia? 49.5% to 49.3% of the vote. Where would the border go? Even Florida only has a difference of about 3%. These are not entire populations that want a whole different country - these are mixed populations that want the same country to be governed in different styles. Or think that's what they want. These are population that have been persuaded to believe in different agendas.
There is no "conservative fury". There is a voiceferous minority that keeps repeating a lie they rallied behind and are afraid to let go of, because they have no fall-back, plus nearly half a country that's afraid of so many things beyond their control that they'll vote for anyone who promises them protection - any kind of protection, however implausible.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby TheVat on December 18th, 2020, 2:27 pm 

Speaking as someone who has lived in both rural and urban America (in several regions, including both coasts), and as an observer of the social scene, I would suggest that the division in America boils down to urban v rural. There are regional and ethnic elements to the tension, as well, but for me it comes down the lens through which people view life, and how they relate to other people, especially people who exist in different subcultures. On almost any hot button issue in America, you will see lines of demarcation that form between city and country. Gun control is the most obvious. Abortion another one. Legal reforms of systemic racism another. On an ideological level, rural people have always tended to like smaller government (even while, rather ironically, federal programs rescue them from various economic catastrophes) and feel that Washington doesn't know them or what their needs are. And there is, still, that xenophobic aspect that seems to be responsive to diversity at a pace that is glacial, i.e. generational.

Solutions?

1. Kill talk radio and other toxic, far-Right dominated feeds that keep listeners or readers by the methods of fear-mongering and sensationalism. Bring back the legislation that used to require at least some semblance of balance in news/opinion programming.

2. Since advertising money can no longer support newspapers very well, perhaps its time to look at more subsidizing from sources that are legislatively prohibited from undue influence on content. Make journalism evolve to something that's professional and guided by professional ethics -- the way it was (a bit more than now) before the web.

3. A program of rural/urban discussion groups where people can sit down (FTF, once this virus is squashed) and have a real conversation with people outside their silo. Maybe include something like that in school and college curricula? Maybe have a carrot for the reluctant - a tax credit if you attend, a special card that allows you access to a Discussion Center in any city/town, restaurant coupons, etc.

4. Teach civics in all public and private schools, period. Teach it thoroughly, and demand outcomes where a graduating student knows our Constitution, how laws are made, what branches of government do what, where taxes go, what sort of people they share their nation with, etc.

Just some random thoughts, maybe more later.


Serpent - just saw your latest email. Thanks for the sci-fi recommendation. I will have a look, as it seems like something that would interest me.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 18th, 2020, 3:15 pm 

TheVat » December 18th, 2020, 1:27 pm wrote:
1. Kill talk radio and other toxic, far-Right dominated feeds that keep listeners or readers by the methods of fear-mongering and sensationalism. Bring back the legislation that used to require at least some semblance of balance in news/opinion programming.

2. Since advertising money can no longer support newspapers very well, perhaps its time to look at more subsidizing from sources that are legislatively prohibited from undue influence on content. Make journalism evolve to something that's professional and guided by professional ethics -- the way it was (a bit more than now) before the web.

3. A program of rural/urban discussion groups where people can sit down (FTF, once this virus is squashed) and have a real conversation with people outside their silo. Maybe include something like that in school and college curricula? Maybe have a carrot for the reluctant - a tax credit if you attend, a special card that allows you access to a Discussion Center in any city/town, restaurant coupons, etc.

4. Teach civics in all public and private schools, period. Teach it thoroughly, and demand outcomes where a graduating student knows our Constitution, how laws are made, what branches of government do what, where taxes go, what sort of people they share their nation with, etc.


That last point is the crucial one. It's also the most practicable - at least the one that would likely meet with less resistance from entrenched interest groups. Murdoch et al would fight like the dickens to preserve their right to manufacture toxic content, and more publicly funded broadcasting wouldn't go down well with Republican legislators, who have an awful lot clout at the state level.
I really like the idea of discussion groups.

Funny coincidence: I participate in another forum where one of the most sympathetic members is exactly the sort of person with whom I would expect to be enemies: conservative, patriotic, religious and somewhat closed-minded on social issues -- and yet it turns out we have a great deal in common. Of course, there, we avoid politics, but we can discuss concerns and hopes and the realities of our daily life.


Serpent - just saw your latest email. Thanks for the sci-fi recommendation. I will have a look, as it seems like something that would interest me.

That would be most gratifying, m'lord!
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Re: America vs USA

Postby edy420 on December 19th, 2020, 5:27 am 

I also like to advocate better education. But the problem with adding more subjects, is you have to make room. Either remove other classes from the students day, or make their day longer.

Texit? State representative will file bill to allow Texas to secede from the United States

https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2020/12 ... ed-states/

Looks like Texas is leading the way. Guns=rights
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 19th, 2020, 11:38 am 

edy420 » December 19th, 2020, 4:27 am wrote: Texit? State representative will file bill to allow Texas to secede from the United States
https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2020/12 ... ed-states/
Looks like Texas is leading the way. Guns=rights


Sure. So, then what happens? It's got seaports, oilfields, cities, large population booming economy. Of course, once it's not a state, the patent business will dry up and they'll have to negotiate nation-to-nation to sell their oil, produce and biotech to the USA, which might be less advantageous, as will having to negotiate with other nations directly, rather than through the US agencies. I suppose that's manageable. It also has very long borders that it will have to defend, on four sides, out of its own tax-base and manpower - much of which consists of relatives of the people they want to keep out. And a killer climate that kills more people every year.
After several smaller insurrections, the Texas Revolution broke out, and the state became an independent nation in 1836. However, the newly formed Texas Republic was unable to defend itself from further incursions by Mexican troops, and eventually negotiated with the U.S. to join the union in 1845.
https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/texas
I wonder whether a referendum on secession would lay out the realities to the voters, as clearly as the British voters understood their options before Brexit.
Texas has always had the right to break up, so maybe that's what happens next - and then each territory decides whether to join another state or apply for statehood in its own right. That'll be fun!
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/more-150-y

I also like to advocate better education. But the problem with adding more subjects, is you have to make room. Either remove other classes from the students day, or make their day longer.

Not just 'better education', but civics in particular, as an integral part of the curriculum. It's hardly a new idea! The principle has existed, but the practice has been neglected or unevenly applied.
https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1182087
There is no problem of introducing more subjects: simply apply a rigorous, high standard of teaching and testing to core subjects that already exist. There is enough time in the school day, if you don`t waste it on non-educational activities.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby toucana on December 19th, 2020, 11:53 am 

From the Office of President of the United States.
Dear Texas,
 
We have received your petition to secede from the United States, and have forwarded it to Congress who will act on it with their usual speed.
 
Any Texas citizen holding a US passport is required to surrender it immediately. Entry into the US will require a valid Texas passport. Anyone staying longer than two weeks will have to obtain a visa. Any Texas citizen (those with birth certificates issued from Texas or currently holding a Texas driver's license unless they can show a non-Texas birth certificate) in the United States have 72 hours to leave or be deported with a permanent ban on returning to the United States. This includes former Representatives and Senators from the former State of Texas.

Funding for highways, transportation, bridges, infrastructure, education and medical facilities will cease immediately. Your representatives to the US Congress are ordered to leave Washington DC immediately.
 
All US licenses to do business are revoked. All business interests headquartered in the Country of Texas are immediately severed from doing any business in the United States, until appropriate international business agreements are in place and appropriate international business licenses are negotiated. All power lines and pipelines that cross the border will be disconnected immediately, to be reconnected only when appropriate international contracts, treaties and agreements are in place.
 
The FAA will no longer operate at your airports, and all air traffic controllers are terminated. All air traffic management over the new independent Texas is your own responsibility, effective immediately. All Federal Civil Service employees in the country of Texas are terminated. All flights between Texas and America are canceled until appropriate international agreements are in place.

The FCC will no longer operate in Texas effective immediately, so you will be responsible for licensing your own telephone, radio, television and Internet providers. All telecommunications circuits between the two countries will be severed immediately, to be reconnected once appropriate international agreements are negotiated.
 
All US Federal services operating in Texas are terminated and their functions will be relocated to the territory of the United States immediately. Citizens of Texas who were formerly employed by the US Federal Government and wish to continue in their now-relocated jobs may apply for United States green cards through the usual channels.
 
All payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Disability to Texas citizens are halted with immediate effect. Recipients will have to reapply, and Congress will decide if foreigners are allowed to receive payments from the United States government. Any funds coming from the United States federal government will be halted immediately.

Effective immediately, the independent country of Texas will no longer receive protection from the United States military. All military bases in Texas will be closed, and personnel relocated to bases in the United States, except for a contingency left to guard the Texas-US border. Effective immediately, the United States Coast Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer operate in Texas waters, aside from actions specified by International Maritime law and custom. U.S. Customs officials will be removed from all border crossing stations immediately. We suggest you form your own navy and immigration department immediately to protect your borders against foreign invaders, drug smugglers, terrorists and illegal aliens.
 
Good luck.
 
Sincerely, Joseph Biden
President, United States of America
 

P.S. Attached is an invoice for your portion of the bill of the National Debt


https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/12/12/2001591/-The-Biden-White-House-Response-to-Texas-secession
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 19th, 2020, 1:18 pm 

Did you read the comments? Much disagreement on the condition and prospects of Texas.
Of course, Biden would send no such letter. He would - and probably will - open delicate negotiations ... through Ted Cruz!!?? G a a k!

Still, an independent Texas would take an awful lot of the pressure off the USA in arms, human and drug trafficking. And, of course, reduce the Republican representation in government. All to the good.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Forest_Dump on December 19th, 2020, 1:59 pm 

Personally I think it is clear that the retrumplicans cannot be considered a fringe or insignificant minority. Unless clear evidence of tens of millions of fraudulent votes for Trump can be documented, we have to accept that the US is indeed deeply divided and given the emotional content of this division, a breaking of the country could well occur. I agree that the country would likely break into 4 to 6 parts and it may not even occur along state lines. I would also predict that the costs would include lives and be on a scale that could dwarf the costs of the covid-19 pandemic. How to avoid this? Both the left and right would need to seriously curtail their more extreme elements and try to meet somewhere close to the middle. Without this I suspect that people all over the world will suffer the fallout.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 19th, 2020, 4:05 pm 

Forest_Dump » December 19th, 2020, 12:59 pm wrote:Personally I think it is clear that the retrumplicans cannot be considered a fringe or insignificant minority. Unless clear evidence of tens of millions of fraudulent votes for Trump can be documented

You mean, as a one-time event? Are you discounting the long, long history of Republican voter discreditation, suppression, depression and intimidation, on top the the gerrymandering and large-scale disinformation that has prevented millions of Americans from voting over generations?

, we have to accept that the US is indeed deeply divided and given the emotional content of this division, a breaking of the country could well occur. I agree that the country would likely break into 4 to 6 parts and it may not even occur along state lines.

It's not just that. Look at the Vat's post. Look at the numbers of ballots cast in the states, and even in the regions that ended up Republican through the electoral college. Even Texas only had a margin of 5.6% - and those were by no means all Trump Republicans. Most of those people could be reconciled, given a rest from the relentless rage-a-ganda .
The lines would have to be drawn round city blocks, around towns, and even through family living rooms.

I would also predict that the costs would include lives and be on a scale that could dwarf the costs of the covid-19 pandemic. How to avoid this? Both the left and right would need to seriously curtail their more extreme elements and try to meet somewhere close to the middle. Without this I suspect that people all over the world will suffer the fallout.

The right needs to seriously curtail its craziness. I honestly don't see hos "the left", whatever there is left of it, can find any extremist elements to curtail. Not without becoming right-wing themselves.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby toucana on December 19th, 2020, 4:24 pm 

Charon wrote
I was listening to something last night. They were saying that some years ago travelling across the States was almost like going to a lot of different countries, one after the other, such were the obvious cultural differences.

It still is. Speaking as a British visitor, the experience of landing in the high energy vibe of metropolitan New York is *way* different from that of being in the Baltimore and Washington DC area. The Chinatown in lower East Manhattan, and the Yiddish speaking Jewish quarter In Brooklyn could be on different planets, never mind cities. Both in turn are utterly different from the Herman Melville-like experience of travelling up the New England coast through New Haven and into Providence Rhode Island, and Boston.

Jumping on a plane and flying over Chicago and the “geometric farms” of the midwest to a destination like Denver Colorado takes you into a whole other mountain country area and culture. (It was the one part of USA where I wound up being held at gunpoint by a suspicious sheriff who didn’t like my long hair.)

Landing in the riviera warmth of San Diego and wandering along the embarcadero, it won’t take very long to figure out why humorists call this part of USA “Mexifornia”. My favourite memory of my first day there was watching a Japanese lady walk into a Chinese restaurant, and order a meal to-go from a Korean serving-girl in Spanish.

Driving up the coast through the hideous urban sprawl of Los Angeles, you can turn inland to the rich agricultural land of the Central Valley and its smaller cities like Fresno and Clovis. Endless vistas of citrus fruit trees on one side of the road, and acres of vineyards on the other. It’s a semi-arid landscape populated by those three-legged water towers - the ones that look like invading Martians out of The War of The Worlds by H.G Wells. It’s also populated by solidly Trump supporting conservatives. People who live in Fresno tell me they can go skiing in the morning by heading east up into the Sierra Nevada mountains, and then go surfing in the afternoon by driving back west to the coast.

Alternatively you can head along up the road to Montery and its atmospheric Cannery Row written about by John Steinbeck, and then drive up PCH1 and the Big Sur to San Francisco and visit Alcatraz Island and all the other sights of that vertigious city immortalised in the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

USA is absolutely vast compared to my own country and highly diverse. The experience of living down near San Ysidro for a month at a time brought home to me that the US president and the White House on the East Coast were about as culturally and politically remote to residents of southern California as the Pope and the Vatican might have been to a Catholic living in Finland in the 16th century. “All politics is local” they say in the USA, and it’s true.

Based on my limited experience of visiting the USA over the last 50 years I would agree very much with TheVat when says that the fundamental divide in USA is between urban and rural modes of life and thought.

Texas is one part of the USA I have visited, and I will say just two things about it. It is extremely flat, and it’s also one part of the USA where I most strongly had that eerie Back To The Future Feeling that I’d somehow been dumped back into life in the dystopian late 1950s.

On the subject of the Balkanisation and poisoning of communal news media sources I would flag up one point that probably deserves an entire thread of its own. - *PAYWALLS* - As an avid reader of news, this is one thing that bothers me more and more. There is no better way of encouraging people to live within bubbles of stupefying ignorance and prejudice, than by locking the truth away behind a turnstile.





 
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 19th, 2020, 7:18 pm 

I did see diversity when I travelled across the states. However, not counting the ethnic blocs, I also saw quite a lot of similarity among the working people and among the executives; not much between the two. The class divides looked - to an outsider - much the same in San Diego, Knoxville, Cincinnati and Detroit. So did the general niceness of people one met in mundane transactions.
This was back in the 90's and I know a lot of damage has been done to societal relations since then. A full generation has turned over, significant events took place; maybe attitudes have changed. Only, I don't believe those gun-waving, hate-chanting reprehensibles truly speak for a large segment of America.

I do believe that significant numbers do want some of the outcomes Trump promised them and would/could never have delivered even if he cared more about their condition than his own vendettas. And a significant number - unfortunately - want the outcomes that he was both willing and able to deliver, which is very bad news for the majority who will have to deal with whatever new figurehead they nail to their ship of fools.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 19th, 2020, 10:41 pm 

You both speak as though this town/country and white/blue collar divide was something new. It's been alive and well in the UK for generations and I expect that applies to most other countries as well.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 19th, 2020, 11:32 pm 

charon » December 19th, 2020, 9:41 pm wrote:You both speak as though this town/country and white/blue collar divide was something new. It's been alive and well in the UK for generations and I expect that applies to most other countries as well.

Nobody said it was new.
I'm saying that the Republicans - who, incidentally, have also caused much if not most of the suffering of blue-collar workers* have been on a protracted and extremely successful disinformation campaign to suborn, corrupt and nullify what is properly the function of a socialist party.
*They've off-shored and deregulated industry, resisted every social welfare legislation, given tax breaks and legal shelter to the highest brackets, kneecapped the trade unions, stultified public education, polluted the environment where working people live, let the infrastructure and public transit crumble, flooded information media with propaganda and strangled the voice of the working class, grievously misrepresent the agricultural sector - as if corporate agribusiness and family farms the same thing - corrupt and sell out the justice system, ruthlessly suppress the voting rights of poor people - and then sell them overpriced teeshirts, supporting their oppressors.

I understand that the UK Labour Party, just like the Canadian NDP, have been sucked rightward to fill the Liberal vacuum, as the Conservatives pull ever more to The Sock. (Edit: Sorry, shorthand for the consolidation of monyed interest.) Meanwhile, the right wing misrepresents moderate centrist views as leftist and socialist views as radical ... so successfully, that even otherwise well-informed people accept it as true.


To have open class confrontation is healthy. For the privileged class to recruit its own victims is disaster.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 3:05 am 

Nobody said it was new.


I didn't say you did, I said you were speaking as though it were, as though it was some kind of new phenomenon. America has become divided!

You mean to say it wasn't before? How about race? How about the Civil War? How about guns or no guns? It's constantly dividing itself all the time, just like everywhere else. The GOP/Democrat division has been there for several hundred years.

If you only mean Biden/Trump. then I suggest this is a passing fad. People like Trump attract some sort of evangelical following but those people aren't serious. Don't worry, it'll all blow over after a while, there are more important things to worry about.

It's one of our things that we only react to what's immediately in front of our face and let it blot out everything else. When something more exciting comes along we'll be after that!
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 3:24 am 

You see, if they really loved America, which is what they all claim to do, weeping for the flag and all that, they'd stop dividing because it's dangerous.

They don't love America, they love their idea of America and each side thinks they're right. But they don't see that they ARE America, that their thoughts and actions are what the country becomes, it's what the outside world sees. So, if they really had America's best interests at heart they'd stop all this fighting and hating.

But they don't. Mind you, America, like every other country, is also divided by being a country, separate, but they don't think like that. No one does.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby toucana on December 20th, 2020, 7:04 am 

Charon wrote
The GOP/Democrat division has been there for several hundred years.

The GOP and Democrat parties have not “been there for several hundred years” in anything like their current form - not by a long chalk - as any US political historian would tell you.

Were you to travel back in time to the year 1854, you would soon discover that one of the key groupings in the US political system at that time were known as Whigs. Their views had been defined by their opposition to the policies of the predominantly southern state Democrat party led by the 7th president Andrew Jackson (1829-37) which was seen as the party of executive tyranny

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_(United_States)

The Democrats were also the dominant party supporting the maintenance and future development of slavery within the USA - along with a coast-to-coast expansion of the white man across the American continent, in line with their favoured ‘Manifest Destiny’ doctrine. It was the Democrat president Andrew Jackson who was responsible for the racist Indian Removal Acts as well.

1854 was a pivotal year in US politics, because that was when the existing Missouri Compromise of 1850 which aimed to halt the spread of slavery above the 38/30 parallel was ruptured by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The ensuing row over the future of slavery and the political status of the abolitionist movement led to the dissolution of the Whig party into multiple factions - one of which eventually became the Republican party led by a rising young politician from Indiana called Abraham Lincoln - who was originally a Whig.

If you were to look around for a precursor of Trumpian politics at this time, then you would probably need to focus in on another influential political splinter group that was created in around 1854 who called themselves the "Know Nothing" movement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

This was a racist and xenophobic nativist party whose single unifying belief system was a paranoid hatred of Roman Catholicism.
Supporters of the Know Nothing movement believed that an alleged "Romanist" conspiracy was being planned to subvert civil and religious liberty in the United States, and sought to politically organize native-born Protestants in what they described as a defense of their traditional religious and political values. The Know Nothing movement is remembered for this theme because of fears by Protestants that Catholic priests and bishops would control a large bloc of voters. In most places, the ideology and influence of the Know Nothing movement lasted only a year or two before disintegrating due to weak and inexperienced local leaders, a lack of publicly declared national leaders, and a deep split over the issue of slavery.

Does this sound rather familar ? (‘Deep State’ /‘Antifa’ anyone?). They were regarded as a somewhat sordid secret society. The one prominent politician they ever managed to attract - former president Millard Fillmore (1850-53) actually concealed his membership of the movement even though he was nominated by them as their candidate in the 1856 election. Support for the Know Nothing collapsed and vanished after Fillmore finished third in that election.

(Millard Fillmore was actually the last member of the Whig party to become president. He was elected as 12th vice-president in 1848, and succeded to the presidency after Zachary Taylor died in office of cholera. Fillmore was then passed over by his own party as a candidate for the 1852 election).
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 8:03 am 

in anything like their current form


Apparently the Founding Fathers very wisely warned about the dangers of partisan political parties. Nevertheless, the Republicans and Democrats started in 1850 or thereabouts, undoubtedly not precisely in the current form but that's hardly surprising.

The rest of your post doesn't touch on the main point of the thread which is division.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby toucana on December 20th, 2020, 9:19 am 

The rest of your post doesn't touch on the main point of the thread which is division

So slavery, Manifest Destiny, the genocidal Indian Removal Acts, and 'Know Nothing' nativist religious bigotry and racism weaponised as a pseudo-political party, are not manifestations of social division within American history ?
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 20th, 2020, 11:38 am 

charon » December 20th, 2020, 2:05 am wrote:[Nobody said it was new.]

I didn't say you did, I said you were speaking as though it were, as though it was some kind of new phenomenon. America has become divided!

Not precisely what happened. No comment on Nixon's dredging of the racist depths? No Goldwater? No Reagan and the bulldozing of worker's rights?
Hokay - you're not interested.
Specifically on class-based voting in modern USA, if you give some thoughtful consideration to redistricting as a partisan tool
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/news/2019/10/01/475166/impact-partisan-gerrymandering/
I might attempt to deal with those issues in historical context:
You mean to say it wasn't before? How about race? How about the Civil War? How about guns or no guns?



It's one of our things that we only react to what's immediately in front of our face and let it blot out everything else.

'xac'ly!!
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Re: America vs USA

Postby TheVat on December 20th, 2020, 2:44 pm 

Going to take me a bit to catch up with some good posts (Toucana and Serpent observations demonstrate that an outsider perspective may be the optimal way to know USA and it's many three-legged watertowers and myriad regions). I would note the Left here has had a few street warrior groups that have set fires and used violence, furthering the polarization, and disappointing most of the Left/Liberal coalitions who have long allied themselves with peace movements and Gandhi style peaceful protest. In all the swirl and turbulence, the spinmeisters have tried to establish false equivalencies, ignoring that the vast majority of violent incidents are, per FBI and DOJ stats, coming from the far-right.

I am, btw, a descendant of Zachary Taylor on my mother's side. I know that his opponents said that Taylor's horse was smarter than its rider. That he dodged a cannon ball shot between his legs. That he was one of the least politically experienced presidents in our nation's history. And that he died from digestive difficulties that still seem prevalent on that branch of the family tree. Mixing acidic cherries and milk that's sat out too long can end a presidency. A recent analysis of his hair has, I'm happy to say, ruled out arsenic poisoning, once a popular theory.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm 

The scariest thing about the extremes on each end of the political spectrum: I don't see, and have never seen, a Democratic administration enlist, embrace, encourage or empower the radical fringes.

PS: military stupidity is usually passed down the male line
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 4:16 pm 

I think we're in danger of missing Edy's original point. He's saying, as so many people voted for Trump, that it might be coming down to being like two different Americas. And should things be reorganised so that it becomes two places? That was his point.

My immediate thought was that was the way India went when Moslem Pakistan was created. But my real point is that anything that so divides the world is a bad thing. I mean, you have the same thing reoccurring throughout history - Jews and Arabs, Catholic and Protestant... you know, the usual business.

So now, Edy is asking, do we have a Trump/Biden divide so overwhelming that America should literally be divided up into two Americas, each with its own president?

Maybe not just yet, but I see his point. Although ideally undesirable, separating feuding hordes is usually a fairly successful move; they each get to have what they want.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 4:27 pm 

Vat - Does this mean you have inherited Funny Tummy?
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 20th, 2020, 4:44 pm 

charon » December 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm wrote:So now, Edy is asking, do we have a Trump/Biden divide so overwhelming that America should literally be divided up into two Americas, each with its own president?

No. We have attempted to explain why it's both undesirable and impracticable.
The underlying misconception in that question is that the present division is integral and insoluble.

Besides, I wouldn't wish another Trump presidency even on the most rabid deplorables, let alone all the ignorant people who just want their churches open.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby charon on December 20th, 2020, 8:19 pm 

No.


Yes. That was indeed his point, I was merely repeating it.

We have attempted to explain why it's both undesirable and impracticable.


True, but it worked for India and other places. Undesirable, possibly, but not impossible.

The underlying misconception in that question is that the present division is integral and insoluble.


You'd have to ask him what his underlying conception was. As you say, no division is 'integral and insoluble', it's up to them. No one is forcing anyone to be divisive.

Besides, let's not take Edy's idea too literally. I don't think anyone's literally going to split America in two just yet. On the other hand, don't think it could never happen. It has before, you remember.
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Re: America vs USA

Postby Serpent on December 20th, 2020, 8:55 pm 

charon » December 20th, 2020, 7:19 pm wrote:[No.]

Yes. That was indeed his point, I was merely repeating it.

I know what the question was. "No" is my answer.

[We have attempted to explain why it's both undesirable and impracticable.]

True, but it worked for India and other places.

That depends on what you mean by "worked". Quite a different situation, as well.
In any case, the US isn't a colony with just two ethnic groups an army of occupation to enforces an arbitrary partition. And.... just where would you relocate Austin, TX?

Besides, let's not take Edy's idea too literally.
I don't think anyone's going to split America in two just yet. On the other hand, don't think it could never happen. It has before, you remember.

Fine; let's not. No, they won't. Never is longer than I care to speculate. That didn't end well - in fact, it hasn't ended. But it could and should and would if allowed to.
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