By Araceli Galarza and Chris Gildone Posted March 19, 2021
Conflict is human nature. Everyone seems to forget about this once troubling, but necessary conversations come up. The difference in opinion can lead to great discussions or a great divide. Politics, religious beliefs, and how one was all raised all contribute to the character and contribute to the contrasting differences in opinion.
Recently the country has faced quite a lot, a global pandemic, an election year, and much more. Contrasting opinions have furthered the amount of division in the United States. The division has been much worse than one has seen in quite a few years.
According to Scott Barry Kaufman, a writer for Scientific American, one needs to look towards psychology to answer it based on human personalities’ different dimensions.
Opinions are what make us human, but they also help divide us as well. Senior Anthony Peterson believes that respect is what will lessen the divide.
“What would lessen the divide of the country would be respected,” said Peterson. “If everyone were to respect each other’s opinions, then we wouldn’t have so much controversy.”
As high schoolers, we are taught to look towards adults for answers. But where do we go when adults seem only to have the wrong ones? This issue is unique because it mainly focuses on these high schoolers’ voices talking about real-life problems like the division that we see in the United States today. While there is some adult input, most of it is from the kids who live through it, the kids who will become the next generation’s voices.
Rural vs. City
It’s a time-old debate, it’s city kids vs country. Is that where the line gets drawn? It’s easy to forget that some city kids came from small towns and know a great deal about how small towns work. Recently with the country as divided as it is it’s been very clear that these two sides are further from seeing eye to eye than in the past.
“Rural and urban community divides play a vital role in the opinions that people form,” said Dylan Lutzow. “Opinions on politics, religion and other trending topics in the country are formed based on the living of each community and how these topics will affect them and their lifestyles.”
Bigger cities are often only looking out for interests that have to do with them. This is where the miscommunication stems from. Conversations are bound to happen. It’s needed it is the only way that change will happen but when the communication turns to fight that what divides us seems all that bigger.
“Not necessarily a divide but I have seen a difference in opinions in rural communities they seem to be more on the republican side and larger more urban communities are more democratic,” said Garcia. “I think it’s because they have different communities. smaller communities have more beliefs in gun rights and participate in hunting more often and since urban communities recognize that they need to change the way the city runs things for a better future.”
Around election time, the United States often gets broken up into red and blue, but this year the division has been significantly greater.
Earlier this year, when president Joe Biden was elected, there was a lot of controversy over his election. Many who supported his opponent Donald Trump said immense amounts of voter fraud caused Trump’s loss.
According to nytimes.com, “That rift feels even harder to mend after the 2020 election, as Mr. Trump stoked conspiracy theories questioning the legitimacy of Mr. Biden’s win.”
The country has seen its fair share of radicals that contribute to the miscommunication and divide.
Colton Vincent, a senior at Lowry, blames the sensitivity of every party. He says to better the divide; one has to only worry about not hurting anyone. He believes that everyone should express their opinion free from the judgment of others.
“It’s divided between republicans and democrats because of all the movements and riots,” said Vincent. “I think things will calm down once the election year is over. I think people should be able to do what they want and what makes them happy as long as it doesn’t affect others. If people calm down and stop being so offensive and defensive about everything, I think it would help.”
Many believe that the difference between the two parties has been the driving factor for the country’s division. Braden Hammargren, a sophomore at the school, explained how politics is what’s dividing the states and the outrage that many have.
“Politics is what divides us, No one listens to each other, and no one is willing to make any compromises,” said Braden Hammargren. “Everyone just ignores everything and chooses to continue to listen to their side only. If people knew how to compromise, it would help lessen the divide between the two parties. Arguing never solves anything, and it just creates more problems. If everyone got along, we would have fewer problems and solve more.”
This is a common occurrence. Many believe that the biggest driving factor in the United States is the politics of the country. The different parties and the radicals that come from both.
“I do think the country is divided,” said Peterson. “The biggest factor in this is political beliefs, especially this year with the election. Some people don’t respect others’ opinions, and it creates conflict.”
How to handle the coronavirus pandemic
It seems like no matter how long the virus stays around. There’s always some problem. The country has been pretty divided between how the government should have handled the virus with the anti-maskers and the ones who chose to wear a mask. Shutdown vs open vaccine vs not.
Many blame the media for the exaggeration of the virus that has caused fear in the hearts of some Americans.
“I think the virus could have been handled with informative facts and news sources that don’t put out “scary” headlines,” said Anthony Peterson.
Then there’s those who believe if the people of the country had followed the stay-at-home orders in the beginning that as a country, we could’ve moved forward. Adam Sorenson, a math teacher at Lowry, believes that if the country had listened to scientists, we could’ve been at a better point than we are.
“If people would’ve worn their masks from the beginning and followed stay-at-home orders from the start, I feel like we could’ve been out of this a while ago,” said Sorenson. “There was no divide in other countries, and other countries were opening up. it would’ve been better if everyone listened to the science instead of making stuff up for their own benefit.”
What everyone can agree on and something that unties the country just a bit is that the handling of the virus has divided the country.
“I do think that the handling of the coronavirus has divided the country because it has restricted people from doing what they love, such as sports, traveling, and social contact,” said senior Anthony Peterson. “People are not getting the regular exposure to people, and it puts people in a different social standpoint.”
Culture has many different definitions, one that is most fitting is “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social groups.” This is a good way to describe the United States.
Not everything divides the country. Sometimes the nature of the human conflict is lessened when one starts to compare all the great things that the country has to offer.
The United States is one huge melting pot of different cultures. There are millions of people here who all have different stories that share one thing in common. The place they call home. Jovanie Bernal, a senior, said the amount of diversity in cultures helps lessen the divide.
“I don’t think that cultures have contributed to the divide just due to the fact that we as human beings enjoy unique and exciting food, music, art,” said Bernal. “This is something that everyone has in common. Without the variety of cultures, the country wouldn’t be the same. In fact, it would destroy the whole country due to the fact that the country works the way it does because of the different cultures.”
Bernal isn’t the only one who believes this. Alyssa Garcia, a junior at Lowry, has the same thoughts. She believes that the difference in cultures makes common ground. This is especially important today.
“I think that the variety of cultures in the US lessens the divide,” said Garcia. “There are many people who are willing to back those in other cultures. Because Americans see so many different cultures that don’t pertain to them, they are able to come together and love each other regardless of the differences.”
Part of the wonder of traveling comes from the “culture shock.” This is something that can be experienced here in the United States. The United States offers the feeling of culture shock within many different cities. One can try Asian, Mexican, and millions of different kinds of food without needing to travel very far. Something that is unique to the United States.
So how are we united?
The world is full of evil. It is easy to forget that we are the United States for a reason. There are millions of cultures in the United States that all contribute to the great country that we all share. Regardless of political views regardless of religious views or any contrasting views, the country remains.
“America is known for freedom which is why Americans love this nation,” said Garcia. “Having freedom brings the country together. Everyone in America can relate to each other when it comes to loving the freedom we are given.”
You can ask numerous questions about the different things that make America different. You’ll get answers that vary but eventually, you’ll notice a trend that’s where the core beliefs of being American will start to show.
Freedom is a common term that usually is used when describing the country. It is what unites us and sets us apart from other countries. Along with this freedom comes the freedom to act. When tragedies hit the country many rally together in order to help one another out. Jeremy Walker, a senior, describes this exact scenario.
“I believe what unites our country is the tragedies we have been through this past year and currently,” said Walker. We have been united during the pandemic that has affected us these last 12 months. The losses of lives and normality have brought us closer together through technology and any means of communication. We are also suffering from natural disasters currently in our nation and that has united us in support of each other.”