A paper about the division Americans are facing.

America is split down the middle, with the left and the right on each side, and the chasm between held together by a very few. There are those who wish to stitch the ecosystem of America back together, but convincing narrow-minded individuals of their binary line of thought is not an easy task. There are many dividing lines among American citizens, including religion, political affiliation, gender, race, and a multitude of other differences. These are all excuses people use to divide the world, and most see these differences as negative. But what makes us different should be seen as positive, they are a quintessential part of what makes us American.

In a TEDx Talk at Stanford University, David M. Kennedy--an American historian, a Stanford professor, a Yale graduate, and a Pulitzer Prize-winner--described visiting a military boot camp for ROTC students in 2014 where he noticed a connection between the young men and women. He noticed a stronger bond between nearly every member, regardless of whether they had ever spoken before prior to the boot camp experience. This led him to realize that strong bonds between civilians in the United States are almost non-existent compared to the interconnectedness of our military personnel. Kennedy was at the boot camp during the height of the Iraq War and was asked by one of the senior officers, “How can it be that the Army is at war, but the country is not?” This is a question that should make us all think. During World War II, this was not the case. The unification among people was stronger because of the war, and the country was truly at war along with the military. An increasing number of people are not wanting to involve themselves and inform themselves about the foreign affairs that are happening. Society in the United States has become more and more divided among itself.

People are separated on more levels than just that of the military. They see those in positions of power, for example governmental officials, as evil. Political ads, for example, are often written for the sole purpose of bashing an opponent, so everyone sees the negatives of the opposing candidate, and it is hard to look past and see the positives. Dr. Eric Liu, the founder and CEO of Citizen University, appears in an animated TED Ed video where he says, “Power can be what corrupts our society or what strengthens it. Those with power dictate a lot, and in many instances are seen as evil. Those who wish to gain power and use it only for personal use drive people apart, but those who wish to use it to better a community or the country will help unite those affected by it.” Those in positions of power must use their influence for the common good, not just their own personal gain.

Everything stated above has to do with stitching together the fractured country that is America. There is a massive divide separating the right and the left, and if Americans were able to accept this, then the two sides would begin to come together. There would be less and less people on the extreme sides of the spectrum, ideas would merge, ideals would merge, and the unification would grow. We would begin to resew the seam torn down the center of the United States, and truly begin to move towards a unified country.




Columbus High School American Creed - Continuing the Conversation

This group consists of student responses to the American Creed documentary from PBS and Citizen Film.

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