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Do We Hate Each Other in America?

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/23004521@N02/3262032108/: HATE IS A STRONG WORD
HATE IS A STRONG WORD
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Writing about the United States, Australian,   Karen Pickering mused, "For a country that loves the idea of itself so deeply and passionately, I often wonder how it can hate its own people so profoundly and enduringly."

Ms. Pickering has identified one strain of the schizoid nature of American society. As crazy as this sounds, we love the idea of egalitarianism and do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen.

Nothing says it better than Virginian Congressman, John Randolph comments when he said, decades after the American Revolution. "I love liberty; I hate equality."

Colin Woodard, in his book, American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, makes the distinction of nations verses states. A nation is a group of people who share a common culture or set of values regardless of artificial geographic boundaries like states.

According to him, "When society was turned upside down by mass immigration at the turn of both the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, intellectuals counseled that America is in danger of losing the "Anglo-Protestant" culture and associated "American Creed" that supposedly kept the nation unified."

The truth is the nation was never unified. It was dominated by an archetype from one of   the eleven nations that make up America. And the upheaval we suffer is shaped by a futile effort of that group (think Republican Party here) to maintain domination rather than share power.

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Think about healthcare and how much political energy they have put into resisting our attempt to assure everyone access to the medical services they need.

Think about how they resist everyone getting a decent education by underfunding elementary and secondary school programs and their recent attempt to increase the interest rates on college loans.

Think about how they fight raising minimum wages to a level that allows working people   to survive on their earnings. And think about how they fight against paying these benefits that these same people need to survive.   

They classify people into those who deserve and those who don't. Deserve what? Deserve the equality in the American creed.

Generally speaking the deserving are those who meet specific criteria, which is generally organized into several categories like religious, financial, social, and racial.

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So in America, certain people who meet the criteria deserve to be considered equal and those who do not, don't. Let's look at the archetype from which any deviation costs points.

A particular interaction in a movie titled The Good Shepherd portrays it well. Matt Damon,   playing a CIA officer, is threatening to deport a mob figure played by Joe Pesci. Joe's character says, "Tell me something. We Italian's have our families and the Church. The Irish have their homeland. The Jews have their traditions. Even the blacks have their music. What do you have?" The CIA officer replies, "We have the United States. The rest of you are just visitors."

The history of the power structures in the United States is the story of white, Anglo Saxon, mainstream Protestant males who have reluctantly given as little as possible to everyone else while trying to keep the mob at the gate from coming in.

The mob is in and now we are engaged in a great transition being called a culture war. In fact, it is several culture wars between and among eleven nations within the United States.

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Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman (more...)
 

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Yes.... by Bill Johnson on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 1:19:02 PM
 Sir,  I don't think grownups like each ... by Ad Du on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 9:07:01 PM
To further detail the situation: Student preparati... by Ad Du on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 9:56:24 PM
No, most of us feel sorry for you(r approach).... by BFalcon on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 4:11:07 PM
Stand in the shoes of Native Indians and look at t... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:35:43 PM
The "sheep is in the eyes of beholder".I try to lo... by BFalcon on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 6:12:36 AM
Good luck. You are trying to reason or persuade a ... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:32:22 AM
I'll stand with you on giving justice to are Nativ... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:29:12 PM
We have a hard time believing all that you have st... by anna kakol on Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 4:31:03 PM
Good article. What are the 11 nations?... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 5:14:10 AM
Part IEleven NationsA sensible division of differe... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 2:11:18 PM
Part II Every culture makes hard and unfair di... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 2:21:17 PM
The eleven nations by name wouldn't mean much with... by Robert De Filippis on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:09:08 AM
Do we hate each other in America?   If t... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 7:40:35 AM
The divide and conquer strategy has been in play i... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 9:26:48 AM
Basically, my point.  ... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:37:41 AM
Do you really want to endorse someone who misreads... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 2:44:11 PM
Since at least the fall of 2007, looking at who wa... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 3:59:26 PM
It is not  hate. Hate is a powerful thing and... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:23:26 AM
I agree: hate is what causes the bombing of church... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 2:58:22 PM
I am sorry but those examples are mixed up. WE EXP... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 7:19:32 PM
Sustained malice involves something close to hate ... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:12:50 PM
There are insidious  racist policies at work ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 10:31:18 AM
While I love your analysis I have some disagreemen... by BFalcon on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 12:47:58 PM
Around 1775, only one-third in the American colony... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 3:03:37 PM
While they did not have "same opinion" about seced... by BFalcon on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 4:22:15 PM
No doubt there was some consensus: few welcomed th... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 5:12:21 PM
I agree with you on most everything.And I especial... by BFalcon on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 6:21:00 PM
Blended smoothly?? Surely you jest.  You know... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:02:06 PM
I keep thinking that we are talking about differen... by BFalcon on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 6:47:22 AM
Perhaps were are but consider the enormous, intern... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:29:38 AM
Looks like there's no settled term, despite the al... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 1:33:17 AM
Thanks for valuable information. I guess I may con... by BFalcon on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 7:07:59 AM
Native Indians are Native Indians. The term Native... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:41:14 PM
Maybe you are right that the term is offensive, I ... by BFalcon on Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 6:26:31 AM
Yes, there's nothing onerous about conflicts betwe... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 3:07:37 PM
even this threadreveals such a hopeless division a... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 2:19:36 PM
Really?  Most commenters seem to endorse the ... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 3:12:08 PM
What i see is  not hatred- neither  pro ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 5:27:06 PM
Agreed, for rash ideologues on either end, those o... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 7:40:40 PM
There is a lot of hate in the states of confusion.... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 4:04:47 PM
Under stress, people revert from identifications w... by goedel on Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 7:49:05 PM