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This is a question I've been asking myself near constantly the last several months.  At no point in my life do I remember it being so harsh, divided and ugly.  History has a way of knocking off the edges of the events that actually took place.  Ask someone what it was like to live through the Kennedy assassination and it's a different answer than someone who only learned about the assassination.  This disconnect is present for WWII, Vietnam, and in the younger generations 9/11.  My daughter doesn't understand 9/11 the same way that I understand 9/11 and for obvious reasons; I lived through it, she only learned about it.  My reflection keeps bringing me back to the original question that has yet to be unanswered.  What's happening to our country?

I have come up with many theories but none of them hold up to scrutiny when researched.  This country is more divided, more divisive, more angry than I think in other points in our history.  Again, I've only about 30 years or so of real experience to draw upon when making this distinction.  We don't know who to trust in the media because of missteps on both sides of the fence.  You can easily find two sides to every story and hundreds of opinions on why both sides are right or wrong....or both.  I'm looking at the top for some direction, some indication that we're not heading into the abyss and continuing to lose our way to the powerful elite that have been running the country from behind the scenes.  This is what we get unfortunately:

A new Rasmussen poll, in fact -- because the people get it -- much of the media doesn't get it. They actually get it, but they don't write it. Let's put it that way. But a new Rasmussen poll just came out just a very short while ago, and it has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up" (12:58:28 EST)

55% approve / 45% disapprove
Rasmussen Reports: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll 2/17/17

41% approve / 59% disapprove
Gallup:  Presidential Approval Ratings -- Donald Trump

47% approve / 48% disapprove
Fox News:  Voters divided over Trump in first presidential report card

I was able to find multiple polls (national and local) after a quick search that all fell within the margin of error of each other.  Which one is believable?  I actually don't believe any of them, but feel that they're in the ballpark, so I averaged them and came up with these numbers.

47% approve / 53% disapprove
Andrew's Logic:  Average of Rasmussen, Gallup and Fox News

At this point I'm sure you're wondering where I'm taking this post.  In all fairness, it has strayed from my original intended purpose, but I think it still proves the point that our country is hopelessly divided with a 3-5% fluctuation across the top on any given day, similar to how the wind blows.  Trump has not done us any favors in decreasing the rhetoric among the American people, in fact, his intent I think is to increase it and cause us to further divide across political lines.  A divided country is a weak country and with Congress on your side, what opposition is there really?  Protests in the street?  Besides, if Trump doesn't get his way with Congress, he just issues an Executive Order instead.  An EO is subject to the same scrutiny as a legislative bill, but who in Congress will actually oppose it?  It's up the people to oppose it and engage the Judiciary.

The division continues with analysis of statements like the one below:

As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country; you see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places, low pay, low wages, mass instability overseas, no matter where you look. The middle east is a disaster. North Korea - we'll take care of it folks; we're going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess" (13:00:55 EST)

Unfortunately, being the type of person I am, see the same statements being made over and over again.  Talking doesn't do anything, it's not tangible, actions speak volumes without a word having to be said at all.  Let me break down this one statement from the press conference held on Feb 16th:

  • "Our administration inherited many problems [...] I inherited a mess."  Well, what is it?  Your administration or you personally?  Trump's words don't instill a lot of confidence.
  • "Jobs are pouring out of the country; you see what's going in with all of the companies leaving our country."  Yes, they are leaving the country, because labor in foreign countries is so cheap.  Our consumer driven economy demands ever lower prices for the buy-use once-throw away mentality beaten into us through the 80's and 90's.  No company can survive in America if they don't manufacture internationally as long as there are competitors in their market.  There are obviously exceptions.
  • "low pay, low wages, mass instability overseas, no matter where you look."  How does low pay and wages (the same to me honestly) have anything to do with instability overseas?  Wait, they would have a correlation if we were in a global economy, but how does America First fit into that?  I'm still waiting to see how this one plays out.
  • "we're going to take care of it all.  I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess."  I see talking points that everything will be fixed, but, just in case everything instead goes to hell, it was the last guys fault.  Way to take ownership there Donald.

I had my 10 year old daughter read this paragraph, if you can call it that, to get her reaction.  She told me that she was afraid that she wouldn't have a job when she got older, that's it.  I feel as if my intelligence has been questioned by the lengthy conference that Trump held this past Thursday.  It's clear to me that our President does not have a grasp on our English language, is offended and feels attacked when anyone disagrees with him and worst of all is obsessed with people's perception of him through his ego glasses.  His attacking on the press is subterfuge to hide the very real fact that he's starting to show signs he's not capable of performing as the President of the United States.  Our divided country is also incapable of deciding on whether he's capable of performing as POTUS.

Recalling memories of growing up, my parents never let on that they ever had problems with money or providing for my brother and I.  Sure, things were tight, when aren't they tight for most families every now and again.  Flash forward to my own family, and the struggle is much more real to me that it ever was for my parents because everything is literally more expensive but the wages I make now don't compare to my parents wages when considering cost of living and inflation.  Our entire way of life is slowly being eroded away by forces that the majority of Americans don't see or even realize is all around them.  Our news is filtered to give us a false sense of stability, e.g. stock market is doing awesome.  Our schools are teaching our children watered down version of history and civics has all but disappeared, e.g. 9/11 was a single paragraph in my daughters history book.  The standard of living being force-fed to us from the top is impossible to achieve at this point because there is no longer a viable middle-class as a transition point to the upper-class.  Our democracy is starting to resemble something more like a monarchy than as republic, that is, unless we finally wake up and see the forest for the trees, which is defined as "If you can't see the forest for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture."

The bigger picture is known to the people in power and it will remain that way until something changes or the U.S. falls apart; whichever comes first.  I'd prefer to live in the United States of America, not the United States of Corporate or the United States of Division.

What are we going to do about it?

Published by Andrew J.