Our USA is divided more than ever; citizens living in alternative worlds. A case in point: A large minority still believe that President Biden “stole” the election, never mind that he won the popular vote by over 7 million and the Electoral College with 306 votes, 36 above the 270 required to become our 46th president of our United States. A “rigged election” say some, disproven in multiple court cases, even reaching up to the U.S. Supreme Court, stacked with conservative judges (three appointed by Trump).
An example of Americans living in separate universes. A democracy depends on knowledge. How we get our information today is diverse, rarely today from the newspaper, some from television, many from social media platforms, mostly unregulated, without an editorial board. Anything goes. Any citizen can post a message and it can become viral. In this post-modern world, the distinctions between “real” and “fake” news are blurred. The former president exploited this fog and opened Pandora’s box to unearth the worms of our society, the white-supremacists, racists, anti-Semites, misogynists ... from Charlottesville (2017) to the storming of the U.S. Capitol (2021).
My father was a noted newspaperman, a label he cherished, and a foreign correspondent. He disliked TV (driven more by film footage than news). Never could he have imagined all the platforms out there delivering “real” and “fake” stories which shape our lives and thoughts.
Different opinions on current events are crucial and have always been present in a free society like our own. Our democracy depends on it. Sadly, few of our citizens read anymore or take the time to research the issues of the moment. Even sadder, the loss of civility, when once neighbors disagreed yet remained friends.
I hope for unity in our America, now fractured. We’re all in the same mess and need to work together.