It's been a strange year for America, but they always say the 241st year is a weird age. For so long now, we've been locked into combative view points and seem to have lost the gift of communication and compromise, two foundations that have contributed to every great social progress this nation has ever made.
Instead of discussing our various opinions, we've mostly chosen to listen to echo chambers that spin the news in such a fashion that it all agrees with the beliefs already concreted inside of us. Our politics and policies have also fallen victim to this narrow mindedness. It's not about solutions, it's about winning and losing the news cycle, about grabbing headlines and possibly swaying another voter onto your side to get the slightest edge within the gridlock.
The result of this way of life is that our country has become a paralyzed shell of the greatness it once represented. It is crumbling from within, not only figuratively, but literally as our infrastructure deteriorates due to a lack of political consensus. Our society has become polarized as well. On one side, we are becoming more tolerant, but on the other side, we are becoming more rigid and have no room for opposing thoughts.
Of course, as with any individual who has ever lived, I have only my lifespan to compare things to. Sure, I have the gift of history and the recorded knowledge of the past, but as for observations, mine only begin with America's Bicentennial. And though what I've written sounds perilous, even in my forty years, I can say we've been here before and we can make it out of here. We just have to demand something better, just as Americans have always done.