The Two Americas
Have you ever gone to see a movie with someone, and came out of the theater thinking you just saw the greatest, most profound movie of all time, only to have the person you were with absolutely hate it? Of course you have. You had access to the exact same information, the plot, the actors, the special effects, exactly the same, and yet you essentially saw two different versions of the same movie on the same screen. Even the greatest movies of all time, whether it be The Godfather, Citizen Kane, or Vertigo, all have people that absolutely hated them. Hitchcock’s Vertigo was absolutely savaged by a lot of critics when it came out in 1958. Now, it’s considered by numerous critics to be in the Top 10 films of all time. This two movie on the same screen perspective I was introduced to by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. He postulates that the election of Donald Trump is the most significant real world example of this that we have ever seen.
Right now America is divided in a way most of us have never experienced. There have always been political and ideological differences of course, conservative and liberal, or republican and democrat, but the divide now is so massive, the gulf so large, that it has created an incredibly toxic environment. Now, we can all collect together in the bubble of our choice, via social media and news channels, so that we can quite literally see completely opposite interpretations of the same event. All one has to do to witness the complete divide, is to compare coverage and reaction of any Donald Trump speech. When your average conservative watches a Trump speech, they generally come out pretty fired up with a high degree of optimism, hope, and love for the country. However, show the same speech to any progressive, and they come out believing they saw the next Hitler in action. They saw division, hate, and racism rising to power in the United States.
Everything that we see is our own interpretation of events, based on the filter of our world view. Conservatives generally believe wholeheartedly that America is the greatest country on earth. They believe that even though we have done reprehensible things like slavery, the good that has been done far outweighs the negative. They believe that the Constitution and Declaration are inspired documents that set the stage for the greatest civilization on the planet. They believe that the American flag is the ultimate symbol of freedom and liberty for all of the citizens of this country, and that although there is the occasional injustice, overall America is overwhelmingly good, and always striving to be better.
Then we have the Progressive filter. For a huge amount of progressives, America is the evil empire. They believe America is built on theft, slavery, imperialism, and even genocide. America was never great, and can never be great unless it is torn down, and rebuilt from the ground up. The sins of the country can never be redeemed, and the American flag is a symbol of oppression. The Constitution and even the Founding Fathers must be obliterated, because of their original sins. Progress to them is wiping out every vestige and mention of the good deeds of the country, and replacing it with their interpretation of events that shaped the country. The good is not to be celebrated, and the bad is to be accentuated. I’ve seen several progressives who actually root against the county in conflict with North Korea, Iran, and ISIS. I used to think that was insane. I still do, but now I understand why. If you believe America is truly evil, then why wouldn’t you cheer its adversaries, as a lot of them did during Vietnam.
I used to believe that progressives didn’t really hate the country. I believed that they all loved the country and just wanted it to be the best version of itself. The more I read and the more I interact with progressives, I no longer believe that to be true. I have become quite sure that a significant portion actually hate their own country. Read enough of Bill Ayers, Howard Zinn, and Saul Alinsky, you’ll understand that the modern progressive quite literally hates the country as it is and believes it needs to be destroyed and rebuilt. We have reached a point where a lot of progressives actively cheer for the country to fail, just so they can be right, and impose their worldview. This is why we see the enormous rift in the country right now. Progressives believed they had won, that the war was over. Barack Obama had just been President for 8 years, and Hillary Clinton was a a virtual certainty as the next. The most reality shattering event of their lives was election night. As Scott Adams says regularly, this event was their trigger for cognitive dissonance. This is why they have to explain away the election results with Russian collusion, or that the country just had way more racists than they thought. They know they are right, and they couldn’t possibly be beaten in contest of ideas, so they literally invented other reasons for their loss.
So now, we live in an incredibly divided country. Half of the country absolutely believes that a huge cadre of white supremacists intentionally elected the next Hitler, who is now also a puppet of Russia, and is also incompetent and mentally deranged. I used to be baffled by the vitriol spewed by the modern left at Donald Trump. Now that I understand their worldview that starts with America being evil, and works its way down there, I really understand their hate of Trump. He took it all away from them. They were so sure it was over, that they had won and the country had forever moved to their position. The election of Donald Trump ripped that view to shreds, and now they are desperate to explain it all away through various theories. Incidentally, it also explains the media bias and hate of Trump. The modern media apparatus was built to cater to the group that they believed was winning for the last decade or so. In case one hasn’t noticed, most of the media is participating in what I like to call the Trump Hate Olympics. A signifiant portion of the media is actually engaged in a contest to see who can get the Trump hate base to watch. Currently MSNBC is winning the Gold in the Trump Hate Olympics, but CNN is certainly trying. On a cursory view of Harvard’s Media Report, you see that most media outlets are in the 80+% negative Trump coverage, which indicates they are all fighting for the progressive agenda they built their companies to forward.
I said in previous articles that we are in an information war. The fight is for which view of America will be the default going forward. The left owns virtually all of academia, so they are going to get their interpretation of events out there. This is why I advocate for knowing all sides of an issue to separate fact from interpretation. Know your history from all sides to derive the truth. I will write many more articles on these historical events and interpretations, but for now, you have to take action and educate yourself to separate the truth from the interpretation of events.
Which America do you want to be a part of?
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.