This is hard to write. I’ve deleted and rewritten several times the last couple of days.
I’m in bed watching a movie. “Arrival.” One of those first contact movies. The extraterrestrials have arrived. Amy Adams has to figure out how to communicate with them.
What would extraterrestrials think if they came to Earth today? Honestly, I think they might just pass us by. “Look down there. We want no part of that mess.”
I get what President Biden was trying to do on Thursday night. Unite a country that is badly divided. I don’t think it worked. In fact, it might have made things worse.
By going after former President Trump and the MAGA Republicans, he hoped the others in the Republican Party might see things his way. I’m not sure they did.
So, here we are. Divided. As divided as I have ever seen our country. There’s not even any discussion on how to pull ourselves back together.
There’s a new Quinnipiac University Poll that is really upsetting. 69% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans say that democracy is in danger of collapse. 69%! (I was not polled, but I have to agree. We are in trouble.)
Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy said this: “In a rare moment of agreement, Americans coalesce around an ominous concern. Democracy, the bedrock of the nation, is in peril.”
Here’s the difference in what they think is wrong. The Democrats blame President Trump and the MAGA Republicans. The Republicans blame President Biden and the socialist Democrats.
That’s where we are. Divided and blaming the other side.
The New York Times talked to Michael Abramowitz. He’s the president of Freedom Watch. It promotes democracy around the world. Now, Freedom Watch has to worry about democracy at home.
Abramowitz says, “Sadly, we have gotten away from a common understanding that democracy is a process and does not necessarily guarantee the results your side wants, that even if your team loses an election, you can fight for your policies another day. That’s a huge challenge for the president, but also for all politicians.”
Winston Churchill said it, although I don’t think he said it first: “United we stand, divided we fall.”
How did we get here? My industry certainly hasn’t helped. I remember why I got into the news business. To report the news. That was pretty much it when I started.
Now, it’s opinion and beating up the other side. Endless hours of it.
I read that the new guy running CNN, Chris Licht, is trying to bring the network back to its roots. Less opinion, more hard news. We will see if it works. By that, I mean are there enough viewers out there that want that?
Even if CNN accomplishes it, we have another problem. Social media. There’s no reigning that in. As I write this on my IPhone, I’m getting Twitter alerts from both sides of every issue.
I’m lost right now. Feeling old and sad about the state of things. Democracy. The planet.
I wish I could end this with something hopeful. That I could tell you it will get better. That there’s a new leader emerging that could bring us all together.
I quoted Winston Churchill. We need a Churchill. “United we stand, divided we fall.”