The architects of schism

Capitol © Joe Sohm |

Watching a news story about the kerfuffle at the U.S. border, someone was quoted as saying, “This isn’t a Democrat issue or a Republican issue; this is an American issue.”

I thought about all the times I’ve heard that sentiment raised, and all the times I heard Democrats and Republicans rail about how the other party’s approach to immigration is absurd and inhuman. 

I thought about the fundraising messages I’ve seen from both parties about how “we” need to stop the Democrats from doing what they intend to do about immigration and how “we” need to stop the Republicans from doing what they intend to do about immigration.

I thought about how you could substitute for “immigration” words like the deficit, the budget, abortion, health care, war, corruption, censorship, the environment, and all the other issues that fuel the fires of hatred between Democrats and Republicans.

I thought about what would happen if any of these issues ever got solved, and how Democrats and Republicans could raise money if they didn’t have perceived chasms between them to inspire donations.

And it came to me that Democrats and Republicans don’t want to resolve their differences, because that would stop or at least reduce the money flow.

And I realized, to paraphrase an old nugget of wisdom, in this present crisis, Democrats and Republicans do not have a solution to the problem; Democrats and Republicans are the problem.

That is the most pressing American issue: There will be no peace, there will be no solutions, there will be no kindness, as long as we listen to Democrats and Republicans instead of to each other.

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