America: The land of confusion


Since 2016, and especially after Donald Trump became president, we’ve seen protests, riots, fights, and a whole lot of angry people voicing their opinions on social media.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen these events take place in America. The country was convulsed by protests during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. What could be causing the divide this time around?

“I think the class of beginning a politician has changed,” stated Alex Silverstin, a student at the Bucks. “It’s very cutthroat now.”

“I feel like it’s about how we grow up,” Lindsy Russle stated. “Kids take their parents beliefs and think so strongly about it…” Is she a student?

“I think because people want less government in their lives,” Steven Sanchez from Bensalem stated. “They claim that the government is the one responsible for the high cost of things like tuition, healthcare, and etc. Others, however, believe that the government helps them more, and they see corporations’ price-gouging stuff.”

One idea that’s been bouncing around because of this political divide is the idea of America having another civil war. Trump quoted an evangelical pastor’s comments in a tweet around the time he was under trial for impeachment:

“If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office (which they never will be), it will cause a civil war-like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal. Pastor Robert Jeffress @foxnews,” Trump wrote.

The idea of America having a second civil war has been both a hot and worrying topic as of lately. As reported by New York Magazine, a poll done by Georgetown University claims that we’re two-thirds of the way to another American civil war. Considering how much bloodshed was caused in America’s first civil war all the way back in 1861, this poll is quite worrying.

“Someone once told me that a happy country doesn’t elect a Donald Trump,” William Pezza, a social science professor at Bucks, stated.

“He was able to tap into some resentments that existed under the surface of society to win an election. So, I think the fault lies with him for exploiting those resentments and with the Democrats for failing to be responsive to some of their traditional constituencies which led to the resentments in the first place,” Pezza added.

“All of that has happened in the past, in other elections. The difference here is twofold.  Where other presidents have sought to heal and unite after an election, Trump has clearly decided to continue the same rhetoric that works for him. That, plus a strong backlash on the left with some inflammatory rhetoric of its own, has left us the most divided in memory. Both of those positions are exacerbated by fake news on social media spread by those who benefit from our divisions,” he added.

John Petito, a history teacher at Bucks, had a good amount to say about what’s happening in America today, especially regarding similarities between now and the 70’s.

“People were divided just as much as they were then, as they are now, the difference comes from the facts. Nowadays, everyone has their own facts and conclusions, and that’s what is causing such a problem,” Petito said.

Petito said a second civil war was unlikely, but he did think this division that was begin caused was being done on purpose.

“The conflict theory states that the wealthy and the powerful can remain that way if people are divided. Blacks against whites, gays against straight, legal documented immigrants against illegal documented immigrants. I personally think this is being done on purpose,” he added.

Finally, Petito was asked if Trump was to blame for all the division. His response:

“He’s just a syndrome. If you want to know who to blame, blame Newt Gingrich.”

Gingrich was House Speaker back when Bill Clinton was in office. According to Petito, it was NGingrich’s attitude of demonizing the Democrats that’s caused us all sorts of problems, even to this day.

“Other presidents would disagree with the Democrats greatly, but not to the point where they would basically say what they’re doing is un-American and evil. Newt was a real game-changer,” Petito explained.