Hopelessly divided? I hope not.

A few days ago on this site, Andrew W. Coy presented a stark listing of how we are divided as a nation.  The list of differences is a long one.  I highly recommend a review.

The division is deep and serious.  It is dividing families and communities with distrust and anger.  Our politicians use this to solidify power.  The country has become a powder keg waiting for a spark.  The 18-month battle against COVID, unrest in our cities, and the unresolved election questions have pushed us farther apart.

The divisions are so deep that another civil war has been one suggested outcome.  This would be brother against brother on a national scale.  It is unthinkable.

Others have looked at the state electoral map and suggested that peaceful secession might be possible.  However, the county map shows that almost no state is politically homogeneous, and there would be pockets of vicious political opposition in every state.

Our best hope is in reconciliation, but powerful groups retain their power by stoking an anger that will keep us in a mood to kill each other while remaining just short of doing so.  These groups are varied, but there are four distinct areas: information technology and media, education, justice, and politics.  These four control our national discussion.

They are perpetuating a seemingly unbreakable separation.  This forcibly created division can be broken, but it will not be easy.  The separation is created and maintained by a remarkably simple single element that holds everything together: each side has different facts.

What is true for one is false for the other.  What conservatives know to be true progressives deny, and what progressives know to be true conservatives deny.  This is not possible.  There cannot be different facts.  There is no such thing as your truth and my truth.  There is only truth.  This division only survives because of deception, and deception this elaborate cannot be maintained forever.  The truth will out.

The search for truth has been a quest throughout history.  It is in that search a society determines common facts.  While the discernment of all truth will be outside our grasp, the search for truth unifies the searchers.  Therefore, those who profit from our separation have coordinated to block our search for the truth.

Many segments of society are besieged by this divide over truth.  It exists in the COVID pandemic with questions about the origins, vaccines, and treatments.  Improving race relations is hindered by disagreements over CRT, the 1619 Project, and White supremacy.  The questions around the 2020 election and the events of January 6 cannot be answered because each side has its own facts.  Those who control facts want this confusion and participate in perpetuating the differences.

Information technology giants and the media choose the information that the public can see.  Our education establishment decides which elements will be taught to the exclusion of all others.  Justice is supposed to be the ultimate seeker of the truth, but justice has been perverted by a desire to create narrative rather than discern truth.  Finally, politics is not a search for common ground based on agreed facts.  Politics is now used to establish the "facts" of one side through legislation to the exclusion of the other.

There may be a simple but difficult solution.  We need to become involved in discussing those things about which we are knowledgeable and passionate.  We talk with our friends and neighbors who have differences and discover common ground.  There is more common ground than we think.  Convincing us that there is no common ground is part of the deception.  We fix this problem one discussion at a time, one school board meeting and one city council meeting at a time.  A central authority cannot control millions of local discussions.  They keep us separated so we cannot find those passions and beliefs we have in common.

Tyrants know that if they control what we can read and hear, they keep us separated.  The brave people who are standing up to speak their side at city councils and school boards are the opening salvos in what must be done.  When we come together to argue over issues, even if the rhetoric is heated and emotional, both sides are at the table.  We are together.

The enemies of truth cannot allow even a bit of discussion.  That's why everywhere our neighbors meet to discuss issues, both sides need to be represented.  We will begin to find our middle ground of truth.  It will be slow but sure.  The solution may be as simple as talking with our neighbors.

We must rediscover our freedom to seek and discern truth.  That is exactly what the Framers sought.  The freedom to speak and to petition government is started locally among neighbors with common interests.  The prescription has already been written.

Image: Freedom of speech by Norman Rockwell.  Public domain.

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