GUEST WORDS—(This is the second, and last, part of this perspective on whether America can ever unite again.) While there were over 73 million votes cast for President Trump there were also over 79 million votes for Joe Biden.
Many of those votes were cast by people I have worked closely with for over 10 years and consider good friends.
Those friends are definitely not part of the America First movement. We rarely discuss politics beyond the State level but when we do the thing that comes quickly into focus is our news sources. My question to them was always if they were listening to MSNBC or CNN? They knew I watched FOX, so they never asked. We were always so busy that we never had time to sit down and compare notes and I think we knew those notes would be miles apart anyway.
The only reason I mention this now is that I am acutely aware that not only are we getting different slants on a story, but we are getting different stories altogether depending on the network we watch.
The same thing is happening on social media where conservatives are moving away from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to other platforms because of the censorship many of us have experienced from big tech. We are moving so far apart from each other that we may need a tech Rosetta Stone to simply communicate in the future. And communicate we must because the alternative is unthinkable.
Aside from friendships that will drift away it is not healthy to have one half of the country not talking to the other half.
My question is can we avoid what seemingly appears to be a head on collision in the coming months, or years?
Already Georgia looks to be ground zero in the next battle with control over the Senate hanging in the balance. Andrew Yang and half of Hollywood are encouraging Californian’s to flock to Georgia to vote in the runoff election.
Some have said that could be illegal but with Senator Schumer’s battle cry “Now we take Georgia, then we change America” will people worry about legal? That said if non-Georgian’s do end up voting in the Senate runoff and flip the Senate what will that say about fair and free elections?
If attempted, even if it doesn’t succeed it would probably render any reconciliation between the two sets of voters impossible. What would happen then would be difficult to imagine. Hell, maybe it would encourage some of the 5 million California America First members who’s vote hardly matters in California to flock to Arizona and vote in their next election.
That of course is as nuts as Californian’s voting in Georgia so maybe all of us need to reign in the craziness and try to talk to one another as human beings about our hopes and fears without imagining each other with D’s and R’s embedded on our foreheads.
I know for a fact that it can be done on local issues, but can it be done while we discuss the implications of National elections? Can we bridge over the chasm the political divide exposed?
I don’t have that answer but we will need to create a safe space to communicate and an impartial fact checker who will need lots of energy to do so. We will need facts not theory to move forward and agreeing on those facts could prove difficult, but we must try.
We need a safe space because it is not safe for many of us to speak freely now. There is the threat of physical harm and damage to property that still lingers for many.
I believe some people are working on how to bring some of us together to begin a process so time will tell if it can be done.
In the meantime, there are still issues right in front of us to deal with. Is there anything we can do about Los Angeles sliding off a financial cliff? Are we prepared to take on Sacramento’s new assault on our zoning laws that will destroy our neighborhoods?
You know they will try again with their one size fits all solutions. They will try to wear us down and watch gleefully as some of us step away from the fight.
If we remain divided what chance do we have to save our City and State?
(Jim O’Sullivan is a former president, 19 years, of the Miracle Mile Residential Association.) CityWatch welcomes your views on whether, and how, America’s states can become UNITED again.