Most people celebrated the Convention after it was finished and each side enjoyed the announcements made through every media format available to everyone. There were even smiles between former political opponents as the work was now to start to allow the blue and the red their ideas of what a Nation is and what living together in areas mean.
I began walking the road that seemed to attract clouds of dust being driven by a gulf breeze; in some stretches of the roadway it changed to a stronger wind that felt loud. I thought it likely we were in for a new kind of future and one I knew not and doubted I would recognize it when it came. I knew to keep my cache of ammunition secured. At least I didn’t have to move be in a free country.
Toward the horizon I saw shapes of cars and vans off to the sides. As I came closer I noticed they were abandoned and empty of life. I thought this was as far as many made it perhaps before running out of gas—fuel that was not to be found near here. Most service stations were closed and only opened to ration the supply each was allowed. It was to be a temporary solution to distribution issues of a limited supply. It was apparent the vehicles I saw were most likely on their way West. They were left so that their occupants could make their way by foot to receiving buses parked just a few miles further from California that were running routes to the red states group and back again. The government made certain there was enough fuel to help relocate a disaffected population wishing to change to a location more in keeping with their beliefs. I thought that was fair enough.
As I walked further I saw a few people walking ahead of me. There were no smiles or laughter that I could hear and rather than drawing up closer to them I held back and thought it best to leave them. A mile or so ahead I saw a larger crowd as small as specks but who were turning into a depot where buses awaited. I suspected this scene was being repeated both ways, blue to blue and red to red as the economy was in its low curve for everyone. Only Wall Street profited—of course. Those people seem to win regardless of what happens to the country, in its cities, and to liberty. It’s a normal thing and good for those few at the top.
Sides had been drawn up at the convention and many people stayed where they were but the die-hards left for their new green pastures. These were the ones compelled because of convictions and deep seated beliefs in the form of government and degree of control they desired. Most never think of it that way. They believed the control was to be exercised on the others, not them. There were a large number of progressives who began to move to new home states, convinced they would forever be happier to finally leave areas where most of the people ignored them. Better to be in a place where progressive policies would be at work for them.
Those from the red states who loved their states remained in their locations and jobs to the extent there were jobs. Some moved back to the red states for their convictions and beliefs. They expected the Convention assured them autonomy from blue policies, even though there were taxes to the arch. The arch by Amendments had very little power to spend for anything but defense though—and that was good.
Real estate value was at a fifty-year low in both red and blue areas. The population being in flux caused this one sector to be re-evaluated. The mass migration put far too many homes and plots of acreage on the market in a short period of time and so people took what they could get for the homes they left behind to cash strapped populations across the entire country, blue and red the same. The economy was down significantly because of spending and inflation caused by the former centralized government and its burdensome bureaucracies.
And so it was that many people moved to unknown areas that suited their political bent. It was the one chance in more than just generations—it was unique for any time in history—to stay within the boundaries of the country in which most were born. Many were moving without the anchors of a family, job, or friends as most people had their own to take care of and could hardly help others, though most did all they could.
Trash began to pile up along the routes. I noticed much of it was left on the western-bound ways, where people moving to the blue states used in their travels. I knew from experience that most progressives see no value in preserving any decorum or cleanliness and were most likely even more unconcerned in especially red areas. They looked forward to their new Constitution and new country and were happy to leave the old and their trash behind.
Some men and women from out of the ghettos went the wrong way and hurt or killed innocents. Mugging, racist killings, and looting were considered game by these under-educated, faithless people who grew up with little guidance from any parent, any preacher or pastor, and certainly failing public schools did nothing to turn them away from crime. Nothing. Their culture was one of nightmares. Their idols were criminals with no boundaries, no consciences, no regard for human life as so many in the dark blue cities were after all they could get and all they could fee. They wanted power over other people and so took it by attacking men, women, and children both within the ghetto and outside their squalor. Many wanted to make certain those perceived to be privileged felt their wrath, their power over them, and the hurt they could put on their enemies—those different from them.
The blue politicians had unbelievably sided with the chaos makers, the assaulters, the murderers, the takers, the dope users, and the counter culture of the ghetto. It was of their making and so had to be protected and held up as people who could not achieve and were permanently oppressed because of their race. The oppressors were their own. Some said it was fear in the hearts and minds of those weak politicians. I believe that was true and had been for years by now. The split of the Nation came as an answer. Now they had the chance to further their work for their communities.
People in the red states knew that liberty was the most important element in society—and one of the keys to a successful population of all races, all faiths is protection of people. Under God and with God, the leaders came to be stronger in their convictions. Those who chose to do harm to others would be swiftly dealt justice. There was no bail allowed for violence and speedy trials with evidence to decide whether innocent or guilty of the offense and the resulting quick trip to a jail to be locked away from the people.
The people who moved within the many migration trains came, learned, and enjoyed the liberty of peace within their cities. There were consequences for those few who violated other people’s peace, other people’s homes. In the red states, the second amendment was taken seriously and meant good citizens had the right to own arms, carry arms, and carry concealed arms. It wasn’t long before there were the fewest assaults ever experienced and fewer murders. Liberty and life abounded in joy and peace for all citizens of the southern and western section of the Nation.
He folded the paper and put it on the table. Sam Adams, a friend of mine and a man who was fiercely proud of his namesake was proud of his status in life earned from his discipline and work effort. He had done much to earn a place in the company hierarchy after twenty years and many changes. He managed to hold onto his job and even be promoted a few times. He was a supervisor now and knew his job well. His department never failed to meet the expected numbers as far as production, quality and safety.
He was secure and provided a good living for his family of four. He was Christian and tried to be as good of a man as he could be and I felt he had achieved that better than me. I looked up to him and aspired to be closer to his level.
I kept up with him through the years even though I had to move a number of times because of the pressure on manufacturing companies through decades of both Republican and Democrat administrations and all the wrong decisions made at the political level. We’d occasionally go out together to enjoy a dinner and maybe a few beers.
When he began working at Daley Electric he worked the second shift as a machine operator. He learned as much as he could about the company and its products during those first years. He knew how to operate each machine within a year. He knew how to repair most machines within the second year. He knew how to maximize production. He learned how to program machines once the company invested in newer technology.
He rarely misses a day that isn’t scheduled time off. When a worker or another supervisor teases him about having the same name as a beer, he just smiles. His namesake was also a famous founding father in the revolutionary war days—though he knew most of the younger generation didn’t know that. He thought the brand was a good one. He bought some of the beer of his namesake over the years but only drank a couple at each sitting, usually when he was cooking on the grill.
In the suburbs of Nashville, Sam and his family lives happily among more or less likeminded people and their families. It is a safe neighborhood. Most of the inhabitants work and live a regimented lifestyle, meeting mortgage obligations and attending church services. The inner city was a problem for someone else to fix—for no one in the suburbs could do much alone, anyway.
Most of the people who live near the Adams are middle class like them. The neighborhoods are mixed races of Hispanic, blacks and whites, but similarly alike and distinguished by their careers. Each family had the same interests in education. Many of the families which live there believe the inner city problems were because of a depraved culture, drugs and an unwillingness to get an education and work for a living. Most of them feel that people are responsible for their own lives and if they choose to rob and kill, they should pay the consequences.
There are a few who vote liberal because it makes them feel better about their own circumstances. Some vote liberal because they think it is the modern way—the cool thing to do—the smart thing to do. They figure if more money was spent on the underclass, there would be a better chance for peace and harmony. They also feel it is their religious obligation to help those in need as it is taught in the bible.
In the work a day world that fit most of the neighborhood, each man and woman is on a schedule of work outside the home and inside the home. Things are going along well for most. They know what to expect at work. They know what to expect at home. They save for vacation trips away from home and take their children to places to see and enjoy. In most cases those places are far removed from any trouble other than the occasional robber on a beach or getting lost in a bad part of any large city.
I moved to Nashville last year when the plant I worked closed in Ohio. I felt lucky to find another job within a couple of months after my last day. I have watched many companies close, move overseas or south to Mexico because of a number of factors but mostly because of the cost of government. It is a worry because I am convinced a country must make and sell things to survive and provide opportunities to more people and the children coming up in our society.
I met Sam at the church since I do not work at Daley. Otherwise most of my new acquaintances are working for the same company as I—Colt Firearms. I am their Human Resources Manager for the small plant located near Nashville in a growing community known as Gallatin. I respect Sam and his family. We agree on about everything religious or political—two subjects that can and do strain any kind of relationship at times if allowed to become the dominating subjects of conversation.
Most people keep their views to themselves unless asked about something specific. Most of the time opinions on any related subject are pointless and cause friction. If one is left leaning, there won’t be agreement on everything with one who leans right. The subject could be capital punishment, guns, taxes or the war—if more than two people are in a room together and subjects like these come up for discussion, chances are great someone will be offended. So instead, most conversations usually steer away from politics. It has been true for a generation and is still.
Americans either do not know or do not consider the fact that the richest people in the world are not Americans. In other countries, often where governmental corruption and authoritarianism is rife, there live the true owners of the world. No one knows whether these individuals are dangerous to American freedom. For all we know it could be a work in progress that began decades past. Our wealth is distributed as the relatively free market drives wages and salaries to a greater or lesser extent than that which satisfies most people.
Building resentment and hate is easy among a people with so many differences—so much perceived and real discrimination—the political orchestra leader may have concluded his piece and watched gleefully in his sober place far away the results of his work. There is so much freedom–our most valued principle—and so much available that feeds the base needs, wants, so many drugs and enough greed—all it takes is lighting the fuse and feeding fuel to the fire that divides the American people so far apart.
We’ve been through the divide that seemed to start in earnest in the year 2000 when it was red states and blue states. Sam and I knew about the internet postings after the re-election of George Bush in 2004 when a number of people who held signs signifying “it’s not my fault,” meaning it was not their fault that Bush was re-elected. He was someone they saw as a war monger—or something worse. Many people of the left claimed he was often unable to articulate what that was. Many hated him. Many didn’t trust his faith. Many hated him for having faith.
Many on the left have moved beyond 9-11 and do not feel the threat is real any longer. They feel that what we’re doing now is too much. They feel it is too violent and a waste. They feel they were lied to by everyone and that the war in Iraq is imperialism on display at its worst. They hate George Bush. They hate Donald Trump. They hate half of the country.
Based on many of the posts I’ve seen and continue to see on the internet, articles written and television media stories, it seems anyone who disagrees with the assessments of George Bush made by the left are looked upon as neo-con government loving fools, war mongers ourselves—and are equally hated. Being called names has become the course of the day and it works in both directions. A large number of words are passed on the internet. I enjoy posting responses and receiving responses. It is one avenue of learning. It is an avenue to debate issues and put the flesh to ideas of all points of view.
Obama won the Presidency in 2008 and the divisions continued to grow. Within families there was ice and fire, hate and loss because of these. His Presidency caused a response when the record was tallied and that tally was a red state revulsion at what the Nation was left with on the world stage and domestically with questions about privilege and oppression along with police issues that began to brew up as hot as boiling water, sure to explode.
Trump won in 2016 and the division had reached a plateau of hate and disagreement—not just disagreements on the merits of issues but disagreements fueled by hate and resentment of the very character of people who do not share their beliefs. The media fueled it up as surely as there is a sun that rises and it was every day, every night, and repeated again and again. All kind of charges were leveled against the President and included his cabinet and virtually every appointee, many of which were certain to work a short tenure and spies and lies enveloped the man’s office. It was four years of harassment, hate, false stories, investigations, and phony impeachments.
War is human failure. There are times when we would be left with what happens if we don’t go to war. That is an area of legitimate debate. We have a sense of what and who we ought to be at war with in these modern times—figuratively or literally and is something different than the question revealed in our grandparents and parents time. People can guess what will happen these days—better or worse, fight or not, kill or not. In any case, there’ll be suffering.
Sometimes we reluctantly go to war and sadly mix it up in the failure of man to fight and die for victory. Our division was fertilized by the long war began after 9-11. We hit Afghanistan and Iraq. We invested much in lives and treasure in the war on terror with no end in sight.
In the media and on the net, I heard it all and watched it all happen. I engaged a few along the way and the conversation was always the same. One time I was debating the case with an unknown liberal keyboard warrior as I had become, but on a different side. I was debating a screen name Soldier of Infinity on line and it went like this:
“But this war is based on lies—Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and the administration said he did. Bush just wanted to take Hussein out because of what he tried to do to his father, you know. He’s managed to kill hundreds of thousands of people and over three thousand more Americans by taking the country into a war that was not just and all based on a lie. He and his administration should be impeached. They’re nothing but a bunch of oil hungry, greedy bastards using the government for their bidding—in a most dangerous and callous way—and one day they’ll pay for their crimes. It’s all bull-shit.”
“We haven’t seen one drop of oil—and WMD’s weren’t the reason. Why would you say that? I’m so tired of the left making up the story.”
“I’m not making up anything—this Nazi administration made up facts to suit them. What are we doing there? Why did we invade a sovereign Nation?”
“So the enslavement and torture—the killing—doesn’t bother you?”
“It’s not our business. The UN should be the ones to step up and stop it—and would have had we not been in such a hurry.”
“Do you hear yourself? Are you aware of the years the UN had the chance and did nothing? Well, I guess they did something—some of the crooked bastards made a fortune on the so-called oil for food plan.”
I laugh, shaking off the awful truth. I’m sick about it and powerless to do anything except use one voice. My internet debate is going like all of them do when a leftist is engaged enough to debate.
“We didn’t give it a chance to work. It’s none of our business. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11 and you know it. We used 9-11 to attack a Nation and kill thousands of civilians who were innocent.”
“Are you not happy he is gone? There have been elections and a chance for freedom because of our intervention.”
“It has become a breeding ground for more terrorists—some call them the freedom fighters. Aren’t you concerned that more young Muslim men want to kill Americans?”
“The Muslims who want to kill Americans are fanatical Jihadists and it’s better to fight them there then here at home. You’re not serious referring to them as freedom fighters are you?”
“We’re in their country. I don’t like their religion—or supposed religion but they are not here trying to bomb us—they wouldn’t think of such a thing.”
“9-11 was an attack and there had been many before that awful day. What would it take to convince you they hate us and want to destroy us?”
“The ones who do those things ought to be found and brought to justice—but we are seen now as waging a war against a religion—and that is making it worse for us.”
“So we are to wait for another attack?”
“We can stop them. We have the technology to stop them. We should be spending our money on prevention rather than making aggressive war—an imperial thought and always a bad idea.”
“We’re not taking over countries. We are liberating people.”
“Why are we in Iraq? I’ll give you that we were right to go into Afghanistan although that too isn’t going well for the Bushies. They’re so incompetent.”
“They asked for it—thumbing their nose at every single UN resolution to stop arming themselves and let the inspectors do their job—do you remember that? Do you really think President Bush commands the troops in the field? I mean, damn. Besides, we have done well in that hell-hole.”
“We should have tried diplomacy until it succeeded. Instead we managed to impoverish most of their people with economic sanctions—something that has never worked. No wonder there is so much death and destruction over there.”
“Meanwhile how many people would have died?”
“They’re dying now for sure—more than what Hussein did and we’re the ones killing them.”
“You’re exaggerating again. Millions of people are free in Iraq now that Hussein is gone.”
“And we’re bogged down just like we were in Viet-Nam. This war is not going anywhere fast and we’re wrong to be there. Why can’t you see that?”
“I can’t see letting people suffer worse than animals.”
“I can’t see letting people suffer our bombs. Besides we didn’t do anything for Rwanda and now in Dafur. In the world there is always to be misery because we rape the resources and exploit labor causing underdeveloped countries to suffer.”
“We didn’t stop the crime to our everlasting shame. I hear you saying it’s our fault in the first place. Are you nuts?”
“Stop the invective. Name calling is nothing but childish. Besides, it’s true. Where do you think many of our goods come from at such low prices?”
“You’re being terribly naïve. Blaming the USA for genocide and every corner of corruption in the world is wrong, plainly wrong. I think we should have used bigger bombs in Iraq and Dafur and the Sudan.”
“You’re a war monger, that’s why. That’s ridiculous. I’m signing off this conversation. It’s obvious to me that you’re nothing more than a right-wing nut. I wish all of you would eat shit and die.”
“I hope you begin to think. I wish you peace. Goodbye.”
The left believes the threat from Al Qaeda is overstated. The right thinks the front is in Iraq, Afghanistan and all points where Islamic fascism thrives. The right thinks that the left are naïve fools. The left thinks we’ve done enough by taking Afghanistan and should focus our efforts in that country. The right thinks Al Qaeda is using Iraq as the front and plans to foment enough destruction that their vision of an Islamic State can be established between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The left wants to spend more on domestic programs. The right wants to make certain the defense budget is large enough to assure victory.
Many people who are work a day conservatives are called thugs, repukes, racists, bigots and Bushbots among the many derogatory terms used to describe those who do not buy what the left tries to sell. Many people who have different points of view are called commies, liars, thieves, collectivists and surrender monkeys. The hate fill is becoming more pronounced each day it seems. Its intensity is rising to a point we’ve never seen before.
Debate has started to become passé and not allowed to proceed in an open way. Most people have their minds made up on both sides and any form of debate does not changing anyone’s ideas. It’s as if one’s pride is at stake and no one can admit to being wrong about anything, regardless of facts, regardless of evidence, regardless of truth. It has become two huge boulders of equal size, girth and hardness, each unable to chip away or break the other.
Red versus blue is a mindset of beliefs that are held equally firm by both sides involved in the political debate, political war—the dangerous political game worked by people with an agenda. Some suspect that there have already been some political assassinations and that there are others in waiting who would kill human beings for their agenda. The stakes are high. The stakes go to the meanings of freedom, faith, right and wrong. Presently I exchange messages with different people on the internet.
The thing about debate that used to be fun to me has become something much different than just an exercise of two people exercising the tissue and electrical connections of the brain. Debate had become shouting. Shouting had become screaming. Screaming had become arming oneself in the house. Arming had become something I prayed would never go further than simply having the means and the ability to use arms in self-defense. To use a trigger action on another human being is the last thing I want to do.
I remember some of my discussions. The internet began as a good way to share ideas and beliefs with others. I thought we could talk, discuss rationally and both remain respectful through it all. It was fun and a learning exercise in socio-economic and culture differences.
“I go about my business. I have hope that the United States will be okay for my children and grandchildren. I want the country to be a place of economic prosperity for anyone who seizes on the opportunity to learn and do good work. I want more people to enjoy a standard of living that is comfortable and fun. I have a wife. We are alone in the home now except for three small dogs,” I wrote.
“Then you would agree that people need help. Yet you are opposed to government support for anything,” Joseph, another liberal answered.
“I never said that at all. Sure there are times when some people need help—but who should help them? And are you not aware some use that help as their living and do nothing to go on and make a better living?”
“You must come into the world with a silver spoon—I bet you’ve always had everything you needed provided for you from your education to your job—probably got it because of whom you or your family knew.”
“That’s not true. I made my own breaks.”
“And you never had government assistance of any kind?”
“I didn’t say that. I served in the military during the Viet-Nam era and went to school on the GI Bill.”
“So you have had help!”
“Yes, I suppose that’s true. And I believe the social security contract the government made with all working Americans must be met with full force. Does that surprise you?”
“So you do believe in some government help. I think your hypocrisy is showing.”
“I don’t see it that way at all—I didn’t stay on assistance. I work. Do you work?”
“That’s none of your business. I might be a millionaire for all you know.”
“I hope you are! Prosperity is a good thing!”
“Then you shouldn’t deny others the same opportunities.”
“I’d like to see more people enjoy a higher standard of living all over. They shouldn’t expect me to pay for every damn thing they want though.”
“I believe the government should provide a safety net for everyone because anyone can fall on hard times.”
“I don’t disagree with that notion at all—but where is the end? How much are we to do? People come and go. Most are busy. Sometimes when I am in a grocery store during the day, I see other people who may not be busy earning a salary or wage. They do not work a job but they’re buying food and drink they need. I wonder how they do that—of course, I do not begrudge them to acquire that which is needed to live. Everyone must live until their time is over and it’s up to the rest of us to help them when they need help. What would I be if I thought about it anymore than that? Why should I think any more about the issue than that? Why can’t we expect something in return?”
“You mean like the phony work for welfare programs? That’s insulting. What is a single mother to do when she has to watch her children to pick up leaves?”
“She can avoid having babies out of wedlock for one thing—and work to provide for her family. Wouldn’t that be best?”
“So now you’re a morality cop. How quaint. What people do is none of your business or haven’t you learned that yet?”
“I’m not interested in what people do behind closed doors—but there has to be acceptance of responsibility for their actions. It’s not fair to ask others to pay for someone else’s decisions. Why should we be forced to by way of taxes you would have imposed?”
“Your choice is starving children or peace and harmony. Why is that so hard for thick headed conservatives to understand?”
“Some undoubtedly should receive welfare and assistance—but forever? People need the help of the rest of us who do work and pay taxes but at some point they should feel it important to return at least some of it, don’t you think? I get the feeling some could work if they chose to but choose to take from the rest of us because it’s easier than holding down a job. I personally refer to these as ‘takers.’ It seems there are people who happily take from others whatever they want. Many take and don’t feel compelled to even thank the ones who give or are forced to give. I guess that’s one thing that galls me most—is so many expecting more—everything—and yet still hate those who pay. What is that all about?”
“I don’t understand—hate? Takers? These people barely survive and you call them names. Interesting.”
“I suspect you know exactly what I’m saying here—it’s good that we have decided to provide a safety net for those people who need help. Any of us may need help at one time or another. That’s something difficult to know and predict. The government is played a great deal of time by some people who really do not need our help. It’s a shame. But it seems more people feel no shame anymore. It has become passé and old fashioned. Never a word of thank you is heard—usually, only demands for more or complaints because it didn’t come soon enough to suit the receiver—the takers who voices are often the loudest in the public debate.
Have you not heard it from the NAACP? What is it that so many politicians seem to always shout about with a scowl? How about BLM and their professed Marxist beliefs? Almost every time their representatives speak to the media and derides American society and government for not doing enough? So we are to go Communist because a few loud mouthpieces say it’s the only way to bring the country built on slavery down to where it belongs? I ask you, are we not doing enough to people who sometimes want to destroy other people’s property and kill? We have much to be proud of—including the ending of slavery more than a millennia past.”
“You’re racist. That’s the problem! When people have been put down all their life and deprived of education and opportunities because of the color of their skin, there’s bound to be an explosion at some time. Your hate is obvious.”
“I’m not racist at all—and I’m not a hater. That’s one of the problems with the radical leftists—you say racist and right away, that word brands those who think and makes any posts we have irrelevant—but it’s categorically wrong! I can tell you what I see some people do that is evil and is bad and color of skin has nothing to do with it whatsoever. If one is guilty he’s guilty and that has nothing to do with someone’s skin hue—it has everything to do with that person’s lack of heart or a conscience”
“It’s the history dumb-ass. Some people have been discriminated against all their lives and the impoverished environment causes problems. That is what the government should fix and spare no expense in treating the ailment rather than buying bombs.”
“I say an individual is responsible for his or her actions and that dear sir is a requirement for being born. Pouring money into the problem has never worked and you liberals never admit it doesn’t. There’s no need to call me names, Bud.”
“You right wing-nuts oversimplify everything.”
“Some things are not that hard to figure out. I guess I’m a nut now. Right.”
This was the conversation. Then President Trump changed the paradigm with his style that was not typical, but a genuine leader. No one on the left seemed able to understand the difference and consider his real results. The division was set now in cavernous valleys of distance. We couldn’t hear each other. There were no calm voices on either side of the immense valleys. We had become two Nations, linked but irretrievably unable to live with each other’s systems of governance. The table was set. The hardware was ready.
Most of the media was in a constant hate mode. The pink hats were worn and the harassment of conservatives serving in the administration began and then it became worse. Government agencies began to work against their president and get his administration wrapped up in investigations and impeachments with nothing to convict him. The year of riots, fires, assaults, killing and looting by Antifa and BLM following the acceptance by the blue states to be anti-police. Hating police became the call of the year with the killing of George Floyd. No longer conversation or debate.
A split was inevitable and it finally came. It promised relief for millions of Americans whether they were blue or red. Hopes were high and expectations were absorbed in our bloodstreams, a most important opportunity for faith, freedom, and success as a society in each area. Blue for blue and red for red doing that which we thought to be the right way to reach our best.