The problem with divide and conquer besides the fact that it works all too well, is that it literally is tearing our nation apart. We have become so divided that neighbors and whole families aren’t on a speaking terms anymore. As Lincoln said,
“A house divided against itself cannot long stand.”
We are divided on religion and the practice of it, not only between Muslims, Jews, but Christians are divided amongst themselves. We are divided over abortion. We are divided over gun control. We are divided over contraception. We are divided over collective bargaining and the rights of unions to exist. We are divided over the rights of women in the workplace over their right to choose. We are divided over education. We are divided over government. We are divided over immigration. We are divided over a voter’s right to vote without encumbrance.
We have a major political party who uses that divide to gain control of statehouses and state legislatures. We are seeing that divide permeate every single phase of our lives, from what we see and watch on television to what we read in our newspapers. There doesn’t even have to be any attempt at fairness in the news or in the marketplace anymore. It isn’t required and it isn’t practiced. Corporations have become the masters of our fate and how they react politically and in the marketplace dictates how we as a people live our lives.
Corporations are now people and they have been granted a super citizenship that gives them a power that no individual citizen can possess. A power that not even a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can muster. They and a few cranky rich old white guys now have the power to dictate to the other 99 percent. They have the power to control every aspect of our lives and they are slowly but surely eroding our rights and our freedoms.
In today’s political world the willingness to give and compromise marks one as a weakling. The mantra for today’s GOP is to never give in on any issue nor agree to compromise. Stay the course until the other side gives in. It’s not about working out a deal that is acceptable to all, it’s about getting what you want without ever having to cede anything.
In this world of divide and conquer a lie told long enough and effectively enough becomes the new truth and the truth is something that only the weak will cling to. Justice is never served and the poor and disadvantaged are vilified and maligned for being poor and disadvantaged. They become the villains of the piece and fodder for the rich to cry foul when asked to give their share to promote the general welfare.
Workers are routinely maligned for asking for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. They are vilified as having too much all the while the rich want more and more. The rich are held up as the good guys while the rest of us are the bad guys, simply because we want a living wage and simply because we seek dignity, respect and fairness in the workplace.
It is a world turned upside down and many of the very people who should know better buy into to that scenario, often at the expense of their own well being. They accept that the norm is being rich and having it all makes the rich more deserving than those who toil for a living. Than those who work for menial wages and have no health care because they don’t make enough money to pay for it.
So many of our citizens, most with college degrees believe that the poor are poor because they are lazy and not because they lacked the same advantages that those in the upper incomes received. They look down on those who work for a living with disdain and hatred and say that if they weren’t lazy and shiftless they would be able to have the same advantages that upper incomes levels enjoy.
It’s not true but they don’t care. Common sense would tell them that there is an imbalance and an unfairness in who gets what and when but they will have none of it, for if they had to consider the reasons they got where they are they would have to admit to themselves that they had received advantages that others did not. Millions of our citizens work hard to feed, clothe and house their families every day. They do so without any expectations that they will get a helping hand or receive unfair advantages that others enjoy. But for those who have much it doesn’t matter. To them the poor and disadvantaged aren’t worth the effort and besides giving them anything would simply take away from what they have and the poor and disadvantaged don’t deserve any help they need to help themselves.
To them freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose and nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free. So if you have nothing you deserve nothing. If you don’t have rich parents that’s just too bad. If you don’t know anyone who can give you a hand up and get you started. That’s tough. Them that has gets and them that gets deserves to get. Them that don’t have don’t deserve to have. It’s a divide and conquer world and as long as we are willing to put up with it, it will continue to be thus!” —– Bob Bearden