The Great Divide

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 1:15pm
John Kushma

America’s Great Divide has traditionally been geographical, the mountainous region that separates the watersheds of the Pacific Ocean from those of the Atlantic Ocean.  It runs from Alaska, through western Canada along the crest of the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico.  It is also known as the Continental Divide.  


But these days, America’s Great Divide has taken on a whole new meaning.  It’s the ‘tearshed’ between what we can almost now call the Divided States of America. 


It’s been coming for a long time.  In fact, it’s always been that way, a divisive nation, but since the 2016 presidential election of our President ‘Goldfinger‘ Trump, America has become a vicious caldron of hate and bubbling tension far removed from the ‘melting pot‘ we once were. 


We’ve always been a nation divided.  Divided by race, education, political party affiliation, intellect (there is a big difference between education and intellect), religion, ethnicity, economic and social status, our basic values ...sports ...divided by our very freedoms, our constitutional freedoms to tote guns, speak freely, and to be as lazy or productive as we choose.  It’s called diversity, and it’s what America is all about ... 


“Give me you tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.  The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.  I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”  


Well, Emma, that was then, this is now.  And although times, logistics and social ways of life have changed, our president, instead of acting as a moderator actively and with good conscience smoothing these troubled social waters, he has become an accelerant throwing gasoline on an out of control fire that our media promotes and profits by.  So, maybe it’s the media’s interpretation of the Trump doctrine (rhetoric) that we see and judge, not what’s actually in Trump’s mind and heart, and ability to do his job.  The president should be a symbol of America as much as an active CEO/President.  When he crosses over the King/Dictator line is where things can go horribly wrong.  Has Trump grown into the job?  Grown out of the job, or has never been qualified from the start?  Is he forgiven for all his past sins, misdemeanors and indiscretions ...and felonies?   


Sometimes he misspeaks, or he speaks differently to his base supporters than he does in other venues.  His rallies are terrible and make him look like a dictator the likes of Mussolini or Hitler.  Conversely, I saw him answering questions by a gaggle of the press the other day as he was leaving the White House to board his 'Marine One' helicopter, which has become a great venue for him.  He was lucid, he spoke intelligently, frankly, and with knowledge and authority.  He seemed, I almost hate to say it, admirably ‘presidential’. 


But he’s a con man in every sense of the term, both good and bad, and he knows the most important thing about the press and imagery ...and that is, controversy is a good thing ..."If you're controversial, you're hot."  Further, you are better positioned if you come into office not liked.  Because it is an easy turn to become liked.  Everyone likes a ‘bad boy‘, a rapscallion, a rogue, who in the end wins your heart through command, humor and trickery.  You can’t help it, it’s a human emotional thing.  Butch & Sundance.  If you come in a ‘good guy’ there’s nowhere left to go.  You, and America, become complacent ...some may call booooring.  ‘Father Knows Best’.  


I wish ...I think. 


Trump has a hard job, and he came into office with a horrific set of challenges facing him, and America.  Sometimes you have to take a hard line on issues, and you won’t please all the people all the time.  Hey, when you make an omelet you gotta scramble a few eggs! 


It’s not easy for mainstream America to like Trump.  I call him ‘President Goldfinger‘ because he looks and acts like 007’s archenemy in the James Bond movie.  Trump’s imagery and posturing, his whiney baby speak, bloated looks an his damn hair, his “loves only gold” history, his arrogance, his Trump Tower New Yorkerness ...all can be extremely annoying and unsettling, especially in a president.  In contrast, he’s certainly not the calming grandfatherly figure of Ronald Reagan ...‘Father Knows Best’. 


Love of hate him, he’s what America’s got to deal with, what we voters have to deal with.  Some call him a monster, some call him a savior both with an almost religious fervor.  He attacks.  It’s his personality.  He attacks his friends, he attacks his enemies.  He shows strength, but does he show discretion ..compassion?  Which is more important?  And that is the question we all must consider, isn’t it?  It’s the balance and combination that makes the difference, and for a great president.  Comforter-in-Chief, Commander-in-Chief.   


So, the real question is, is Trump dividing America and acting in earnest as he sees his job, or is he a despot ...or is the media dividing America in the name of Nielsen ratings and advertising dollars?  These are legitimate, serious questions that deserve legitimate, serious review and answers.  Because America’s direction and future are in the balance.  Your future.    


Diversity or division?  The key issues are race and immigration.  The ancillary issues are the rest ...gun control, health care, tax reform, foreign and domestic policies, education, infrastructure, economy, jobs, crime, drugs, climate change, clean air and water, the World Series and Super Bowl.  These we can all agree or not agree on  ...or agree to not agree on.  Race and immigration are personal and prophetic. 


Trump, our ‘President Goldfinger‘, says his ‘rhetoric‘ is “bringing people together.”  However, it seems that his rhetoric is serving to divide America more than it’s ever been divided before ...split into smithereens ...scramble a few eggs.  What’s interesting is that he uses the negative word ‘rhetoric‘, what the press uses, and not a positive word like ‘doctrine‘ or ‘conviction‘ or ‘ideology‘, or ‘principle‘ ...he doesn’t understand the meaning of the words.  He didn't know the implications of the word 'nationalist'