When retreating from the local perspective to a larger one, what do we see? I see two Americas. Here’s what they look like to me.
One is the America I grew up in. The other is getting to look a lot like Europe.
One is comprised of hard-working folks working the middle. The other exists at the coasts comprised of folks avoiding as much work as possible.
One set of Americans make their own way. The other Americans depend on government.
One group consists of professionals and small business owners. The other consists of academics, unions, and celebrities.
One group listens to Fox News. The other to NPR.
Some love Sarah Palin. The others adore the president.
One group likes private. The other, public.
Some like big business. Some like big government.
One group listens to mom and dad. The other loves when Congress tells them what to do.
One group sends their kids to small colleges close to home. The other group sends their kids to Ivy League schools.
One group loves the environment for what it is. The other group loves the environment to the exclusion of everything else.
Some Americans get their information from books, from YouTube and internet blogs. Others get their information in one-sided one-liners from 7 o’clock TV.
One group favors muscle cars, trucks, and motorcycles for transportation. The other group travels in anything that doesn’t use gas.
Some American guys like their women smart, sassy, and pretty. The other guys are intimidated by smart, sassy, pretty women.
Some American women like their men to be men. The other gals like to strip the ‘man’ out of their men.
Some Americans keep a gun in their house because they can. Others gave up that right and don’t know why everybody didn’t do that too.
Some prefer their beef rare, nearly uncooked. Others prefer their fish rare, absolutely uncooked.
One group consists of meat-and-potatoes Americans. The other group dines on tofu and bean sprouts, hold the mayo.
One group makes parents out of one mom and one dad. The other group makes parents out of any combination other than that.
One group respects life. The other group does away with any inconvenient varieties.
One group values individuality. The other group, community.
Oh, I could go on and on about the two Americas I see. Those two Americas are polarized along political lines–some might say lifestyles–that can be characterized at the poles as conservative and liberal.
It would be nice to have either two such Americas, each one without the other, or one America in which the two could live together in peace.
Right now we have neither.