The Divided State of America: What Can We Learn From It?
| Kalpna Singh-Chitnis, California, USA - 13 Jan 2021

By Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

…We must abstain from climbing that peak where only one side can prevail, and the other side refuses to go down without taking the other with it. If this happens, it will be detrimental to the United States.

Four years ago, after the US Presidential election, I had an epiphany. I was tempted to share it on social media, but then I had a second thought. Why believe something that flashes before your eyes for a few seconds and goes away? I talked myself out. My family supported my judgment. Had I shared it, perhaps the FBI would have been knocking at my door, for seeing all that sounds like a fascinating plot for a Hollywood movie, but perilous for America if it really happens.

Four years later, I am troubled to see the very revelation replay before my eyes on the streets of the USA, at the citadel of our democracy, and on the T.V. screens of every home, as a tragic reality. However, what is happening right now in the political arena is only 75 percent of what occurred to me in wee moments. I hope the rest never comes true, as we do not wish to see more blood on American soil. I have trusted my intuitions about people and things all my life. Most of the time they have come true; nevertheless, on this one, I want to be proven wrong.

We have stopped filtering our emotions and paying attention to the reactions that are counterproductive. This would do more harm to the nation and our democracy in the coming days.

Those who have failed us must be brought to justice and discouraged from repeating their grave offenses. Those who have misread our constitution must be corrected. However, using a broad brush to paint millions of people who are not directly involved in doing any such things would be a colossal mistake and prove fatal.

No true justice can be delivered by ignorance. No love will grow out of the seed of hatred, and we all are capable of producing that seed in our minds and destined to the harvest no one would like to claim.

We have stopped filtering our emotions and paying attention to the reactions that are counterproductive. This would do more harm to the nation and our democracy in the coming days. Even in disagreement, it is crucial to examine how we make others feel on social media, workplaces, and elsewhere in this challenging time. People on both sides of the divide are not only dealing with the current political crisis but also trying to survive the Pandemic, cope up with the loss of their loved ones and struggle to make their ends meet.

No true justice can be delivered by ignorance. No love will grow out of the seed of hatred, and we all are capable of producing that seed in our minds and destined to the harvest no one would like to claim. No matter which side we are on, we need to restrain from contributing negatively to the country’s crisis. We must abstain from climbing that peak where only one side can prevail, and the other side refuses to go down without taking the other with it. If this happens, it will be detrimental to the United States. 

…the current political crisis in the USA may prove to be a turning point in the political history of the world.

Looking at the bigger picture, the current political crisis in the USA may prove to be a turning point in the political history of the world. After the second world war, the British empire was set to decline. Likewise, the U.S. influence in world politics may diminish, depending on how we enter a new era in politics post-Trump and Pandemic, in Joe Biden’s leadership.

Enough damage is done to cripple America morally, sadly by internal forces, giving her enemies a chance to rejoice and profit much from her misfortunes. These warnings may be ignored by both sides at the home front, engaged in a perpetual argument of which side is right and which side is wrong. If we fail to realize how crucial it is to find common ground and come together in the country’s greater interest, we will only allow more setbacks.

…it is astonishing to see similarities between Indian and American politics. The ideological divide, the political divide, the role of media in building the narratives in favor or against the governments, and the people’s aspiration to find social and economic justice…

Moreover, it is astonishing to see similarities between Indian and American politics. The ideological divide, the political divide, the role of media in building the narratives in favor or against the governments, and the people’s aspiration to find social and economic justice while making progress in this direction but failing at the same time by clinging to the status quo and denying to accept the new realities. India is fortunate not ever to see what America saw at the Capitol. But no democracy can deny the possibility of such uprisings, a threat to itself if the warning signs are ignored.

The current crisis in American politics can teach India and other democracies a few lessons – Bad players do not win. The power stays in people’s hands, and their verdict must be respected. No one is above the rule of law, the constitution. Constant conflict is not the end goal of democracy.

Above ideologies, beliefs, racial and ethnic identities, we exist as one nation, in the same pool of social consciousness, with similar aspirations, dependent on one another, and cannot thrive in a vulnerable state of existence…

Lastly, democracy cannot be fully functional if voices of dissent are dismissed, mocked, or suppressed, either by those in power or opposition, wanting to go to any length for a power grab. Above ideologies, beliefs, racial and ethnic identities, we exist as one nation, in the same pool of social consciousness, with similar aspirations, dependent on one another, and cannot thrive in a vulnerable state of existence, threatened continuously by political and ideological conflicts. Let’s unite America.

© Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Image courtesy -kalpnasinghchitnis.com and pexels-pixabay 


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