My piece is an essay that talks about why we as a country have become so divided. It talks about the causes, effects, and how we can fix this growing problem.

Middle Ground

Since the past election, Hillary vs Trump, a great divide has formed between many groups in America. The racial barrier between whites and blacks, the gender gap between men and women, and the constant battle between Democrats and Republicans about anything and everything have all gotten worse. But why is there so much hatred between everyone? Aren't we all the same? Aren't we all just people trying to live our lives? People spend so much time trying to prove their point and be right without leaving any room for acceptance or change. We have become so stubborn and egotistical that we do not listen to our peers and work together to make both sides happy. The thing we lack most of today is compromise and the ability to admit when we are wrong.

The divide that is now plaguing our country gets traced even further than the recent presidential debate, though only after the election did it get so bad. The biggest issue with the election was that both of the two main candidates could’ve been in jail the next day. Crooked Hillary who’s foundations receive massive amounts of money and her email scandal. On the other hand Donald, a racist, sexist, homophobic, corrupt, scandalous, reality star and business mogul. For most of my family, and I assume the whole country, it was who we thought was the lesser of two evils. Hillary’s scandals with Benghazi and her emails along with Trump's racism and sexism irked many people. It wasn’t the regular presidential dirt though. The people of America felt very strongly about who wasn't going to sit in the Oval Office and neither side gave any ground. They became so focused on hating the other candidate they also become focused on hating their following. This hatred, along with social media, has caused the perfect storm for argument and the divide. The hatred brought on more hate and soon enough we were pitted against our fellow Americans and the social media was its platform.

Due to the heightened sense of conflict between Democrats and Republicans there is little room for normal conversation between either side. On social media and during protests I have seen absolutely zero positive discussion. Everyone wants to talk and get their point across but no one wants to be the listener. After awhile the conversation degrades into a mosh pit of null points, poorly thought out insults, and scattered arguments. In reality their shouldn't have even been any conversation because their minds are already made up well before hand. They went in narrow minded and full of the hatred they have for their counterpart. The only way to make things better is to talk about what we think but also listen to what others say. Alone we don’t have the knowledge and point of view to make everyone happy. Of course no one will be totally happy but compromise will lead to discussion and forward progress.

For most people the truth is what they want to hear, they don’t question it or research. That means only watching, reading, and believing their own side. I had to find out if there was any real common ground between Republicans and Democrats, so I interviewed a few on a hot topic in America,gun control. Overall Republicans believed in softer gun control laws than Democrats and support the AR-15 more. When I completed my interviews with both sides there was one striking similarity. They both believed that guns should be kept out of the hands of those with mental illnesses and criminal records. Neither side wanted innocent people to die or get hurt, they just had different opinions on how to fix the issue of what should be done. This common ground can be a foundation for talks about compromise and progress. This strikes down any argument against the hope that one day both sides will work things out.

Considering that all of the people who I interviewed thought the opposing side’s opinion was the opposite of theirs, I’d say the results are very positive. I’d be a fool to say that they will always agree because hundreds of years of politics prove otherwise. Regardless it’s a step in the right direction for a country seems to have taken leaps backwards. Especially in recent days, there is always a need for hope.




Highland School Highland High School

These responses were created by seniors in AP Language and Composition Class at Highland High School.

More responses from Highland High School
More responses from New York
More responses from "america" and "divide"