Rachel Brougham: At this point, what can unite us?

·2 min read

We are a nation of finger-pointers. Everything is the other side’s fault. We love to throw blame so much that it can be difficult to see how we can ever find unity.

Take for instance the recent train derailment in Ohio. You’d think leaders would make the health and safety of local residents their top priority, yet all we seem to hear is who’s at fault.

Earlier this month when Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, we heard excuses from all sides as to why the bank failed. Yet few of those excuses were directed at the actual heads of the bank who made bad choices leading to the bank’s demise.

You’ll think we could find some common ground somewhere.

Consider the pandemic. You’d think with more than a million Americans dead due to the COVID-19 virus, we would have found some unity.

Or maybe the Jan. 6 insurrection at our nation’s capitol would bring us together to agree that our country’s democracy was at stake. Yet we can’t even agree on whether it was done by a group of insurrectionists or some sightseers.

Some Americans don’t even believe we have a real president. Others believe we are a country run by pedophiles and lizard people.

We argue over voting restrictions and whether or not someone should receive health care. We can’t agree on basic human rights or whether we should help disadvantaged children. We fight over the right to make our own medical decisions, immigration and the economy.

Keyboard jockeys call one another names for just having a difference of opinion. Head to any comment section and you’re bound to read the words “libtard” and “MAGAt.” “If you don’t like it, just leave,” is now a common response to opposing viewpoints. We scream at teachers, mini-mum wage workers, even our fellow neighbors for just going about their own business and do-ing what they need to do to make their lives better. I recently saw comments attacking a group of parents in Northern Michigan who were just looking for affordable child care for their children.

Who are we, really?

At what point did we become a nation of finger pointers and tantrum throwers? What could pos-sibly unite us?

What happened to being sensible, good citizens? At what point did we start viewing everyone with a different viewpoint as our enemies, opposed to a fellow American? Are some of us so fragile we can’t even interact in any meaningful way with those different from ourselves?

Imagine if we stopped blaming the other side for every single thing that happens and instead worked together on actual solutions.

— Rachel Brougham is the former assistant editor of the Petoskey News-Review. You can email her at racheldbrougham@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Rachel Brougham: At this point, what can unite us?