For a moment, put everything you know about former President Donald Trump on the back shelf, and remember the most important thing that his presidency accomplished--something no other President has done. He revealed the level of division in the American public. He brought it to the forefront, revealing how the conflict stymies the nation's forward movement, gives it a zig-zagging sense of direction, and diminishes its ability to achieve its goals and solve its problems.
Trump's opponents railed about his abrasive personality, his sex-life, and his wealth, but the fact remains that nearly half of the population voted for him. Those voters didn't care about his anti-politician style or his lack of tact. They liked his can-do spirit, the things he stood for, and the fact that he did not equivocate about them. With Trump, what you see is what you get.
Trump revealed to everyone that the nation has reached a cross-road. We either continue along, hobbled by our divisions--more intent on destroying each other than confronting our external enemies--or we work out a division of the country to permit both sides, Democrat and Republican, to express their political differences independently.
Our inattention to our other problems causes the nation to drift, which presents some risks to us, going forward:
1. One side wants to tax more, while the other side wants to spend less.
2. One side likes firearms for sport and self-defense; the other side wants to limit access to them.
3. One side wants to build a wall to protect America's southern border from drug-dealers and criminals; the other side offers asylum and opposes a wall.
4. One side wants "constitutional originalism;" the other wants a "flexible" constitution that adapts to circumstances.
5. One side wants to reduce the power and influence of wealthy individuals and mult-national corporations; the other wants to reduce the power and influence of the government.
The division reveals clearly-defined governing concepts that work just fine by themselves but obstruct each other when they try to work together. Americans have to realize that democracy fuels the polarization, not the politicians, the media, wealth, race, or anything else. We need to stop thinking of the political divisions as something bad, but as a step in our evolution. Nations must evolve, like plants and animals. Americans need to respond pro-actively to the evolution of our country, rather than try to thwart it.
One of the Founding Fathers John Adams expressed the opinion that "Democracies murder themselves." He must have had a scenario like ours in his mind--two delineated parties struggling to gain control over each other, resulting in a loss of unity and inattention to ongoing problems.
I fear for America's future, its ability to serve as a world-power that can counteract the aggressive intentions of Russia and China, if we do not agree to a division. If we want to identify an incentive for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we only have to look at how our enemies react to American indecisiveness.