Friday, January 14, 2011

Too Much Diversity?

Too Much Diversity?
Louis Lazarus

I think the greatest problem facing this country today is too much diversity. Most other countries are generally composed of people with similar backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences. If we take a look at a country like Japan, we see a people who all work well together and generally get along because they are all similar in the thoughts and ideals because they come from similar backgrounds. We can also look to nature and we see animals and birds that primarily seek each other’s company but seldom mix with others unlike them. For instance, you don’t often see a flock of blackbirds and sparrows all hanging around together. They all somehow know that remaining together is the natural order of things. There is a saying “birds of a feather, flock together”. Likewise, you don’t see a herd of elephants traveling with a herd of hyenas. It just doesn’t happen in nature. Schools of fish are all of the same species. Somehow they just know where they belong. Everywhere you look on this planet you see like with like. When it comes to human beings, if you are observant, you notice even we seem to prefer the company of people just like us. Germany, Japan, Korea, Egypt and dozens of countries are all primarily made up of people who think more or less alike.

In this country we practice and relish our diversity. We are a melting pot consisting of people from dissimilar backgrounds all trying to live and work together. The people of this country speak at least 60 different languages and there must be at least the same amount of religions practiced here as well as non-religions or no religions at all. We don’t all think the same. We don’t all act the same. We don’t all hang around with each other. For the most part, we still seek out those exactly like us and prefer the company of “our people” versus others. Of course, we all get along as best we can but you just don’t find a group of friends that are totally mixed. It happens but it is the exception and not the norm. As if the odds against us weren’t bad enough, we now seem to have the ultimate decision to make. Do we continue to try to get along with people who think exactly opposite from the way we do or should we consider making some changes so that we can all have the opportunity to live and work with people of like ideals? If this isn’t the major question concerning this nation right now, then there is no reason for this article to go on. However, it will go on because I truly believe this is the single biggest threat we face as a nation. The question always seems to come down to compromise or what the politicos call “bi-partisanship”. Many people believe that if we can just compromise and meet somewhere in the middle, all of our problems can be solved. As a theory, that would seem like a great idea. In the real world, it can’t possibly work. For instance, half of this country truly believes with all their hearts that abortion is something every woman has the right to no matter what. They even take this to the “nth” degree and are in favor of partial birth abortion where the baby, what they call a fetus, is all but totally delivered from the birth canal and then killed before it is completely free from the mother. The supporters of this practice will tell you it’s the right thing to do. On the other hand, half of this country is totally against killing a baby in the womb and they do call this person a baby, not a fetus. They believe this innocent newly formed life has all the rights due a living person. Both sides of this argument will not change their minds or beliefs. It will never happen and it just can’t happen. It’s who they are. This is one major issue where compromise can’t be an option. It’s impossible. You can’t halfway abort a child. You either believe in the right to life or you don’t.

If we go onto another issue and another issue and another issue we find there cannot possibly be compromise on any of them. These issues and how we think and feel about them are who we are. They are what makes us…us. Some of these issues specifically are gay marriage, redistribution of wealth, the military, religion, illegal immigration and the list goes on and on. Half of the people in this country believe one way and half of the people believe in the exact opposite. So then, is it me or does anybody else see a real problem here? We have about 300 million people total but in round numbers we only have about 150 million people who think one way and 150 million people who think exactly opposite. I would compare this to a jar made up of half water and half oil. The two will never mix. This is either true or it’s false. I believe it is true. Half of the country thinks one way and half the country thinks exactly opposite. The issues aren’t fluff. The issues aren’t whether to wear loafers or wing tips. The issues aren’t whether to have fried eggs for breakfast or scrambled. These are core value issues and speak directly to who we are and how we live our lives. So if the premise is correct and there is a problem, what then, is the solution?

We’ve been trying to live together and in my opinion things have not become better, they have become worse and worse as the years go by. Half of us want to play by the “old rules” as they were written over two hundred years ago and half of us want to make up rules as we go along. How can there be a compromise on this? I know how I feel about certain things and while I can appreciate people who feel exactly opposite, I would prefer to live with people who think more or less like I do than to try to struggle each day along side of people who are completely opposite in their beliefs. Am I really alone in my thinking or do more and more people think the same thing? I’ve always thought if I’m thinking a certain thing, so are many others. I’m just a guy who got here like everybody else and as time went by, and as I observed life and what goes on day by day, I’ve formed opinions and certain core values. Understanding people who don’t think like I do isn’t difficult. It’s easy to do. But, do I want to think like them? Do I want to live my life like they do? Absolutely not. No way. Never. I’m sure the same holds true for them. They could never change and think like I do and why should they. It’s not them. It’s not me.

Taking all these things into consideration, would it not be the right thing to do to get a divorce from people you can’t live with? We do that in marriage. It’s done all the time. Two people can love each other with all their hearts and yet they can’t live together because of irreconcilable differences. That’s the term I think applies to America in 2011. If we truly are a divided people on most every important issue of our time and if we truly can’t live together, then why not separate and yet remain friends? Married people do this. Life doesn’t end when this happens. It usually gets better.

What I am proposing in this article is for everyone who reads it to give this some careful thought. Either what I’ve deduced is true or it isn’t. If we aren’t divided and if everyone is totally happy with the way things are in this country today, simply regard these words as simple folly and continue enjoying life. I would have to add that if you truly are happy with the way things are, you are either not paying attention or you are brain dead and don’t know it. But, if you are anything at all like me and you’ve noticed things aren’t really working and we do have a problem, then might we not all be better off if we could come up either with an alternative or even a solution to this problem?

My first article, I NEED SOME OPINIONS…, suggested we divide this country into two halves. One half would be for liberals and the other half for conservatives. It would be a geographical division with all states remaining in tact. We would simply either have a horizontal, vertical or diagonal border dividing the country in two. The border would go along the state lines involved. The Congress would work this out. One party could be in charge of exactly where the division would be and then the other party would get to choose which half they preferred. Since the liberals have a president they are fond of, this person could remain president but only of the liberal half of the new America. The Congress would be divided up according to the states. Each Representative would be free to remain in that state as would the Senators. Where openings existed, new elections would take place. The Supreme Court would be divided up as to Liberal and Conservative and we would wind up with two Supreme Courts. We would also wind up with two Houses of Representatives and we would also have two Senates. Obviously, the conservative half would need a new president. Every citizen of either side would have the choice of remaining where he or she was or the option of moving. Eventually, we would become two separate but equal Americas. Each half living the way they thought was best for them. Each citizen could choose the system that was most closely aligned with his or her beliefs. The same way there is a North and South Dakota is the same way we’d have a Liberal and Conservative America.

Is this idea really too farfetched or does it have some merit? Are there flaws? Yes, more than likely there are. If our lawmakers really wanted what was best, couldn’t they come up with a better version of my plan? Each person believes “his way or her way” is the best way and finally they would have the choice of living under the system they preferred. I only ask people who read this to really give it some thought. I am not advocating war, violence or anything of the sort. What we would have is a friendly competition of two systems, each working separately from the other. Is it possible both halves could flourish? Is it possible both halves could fail? Is it possible we really do need each other and we really do need all this diversity? Or, is it possible one system will work while the other one would fail? If that should happen, then what would we do? As many questions as I can come up with, I’m sure you can come up with more?

With the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords yesterday and the brutal slaying of six other people by a crazed lunatic, it just seems obvious to me that sub-human savage was not happy with the way things are going. I won’t begin to guess what was going on in his brain but one thing is for certain, he wasn’t a happy person. My guess is his discontent came directly from politics. He didn’t like the way things were going and probably felt he had to do something. Obviously what he chose to do was completely wrong but my guess is if we had a better system in place and he had a choice of living in a place more conducive to his way of thinking, maybe he wouldn’t have taken a gun in hand and randomly tried to kill as many people as he could. There is no excuse for what he did but there most likely is an explanation. My guess is he was frustrated and his way of dealing with frustration was violence. If we could do something that would lessen the frustration of people, maybe we would all be better off? One thing I know for sure is that he’s not the only one who is frustrated with the way things are. I’m betting there are millions and millions of Americans who would love the opportunity to live life closer to their core values. Are you one of them? Let’s tackle this problem and if we do it in a serious way, I truly believe we can make America a much better place.

1 comment:

brooks said...

"Let’s tackle this problem and if we do it in a serious way, I truly believe we can make America a much better place. "

Which America would be a better place?