Imagine the difficulty of sitting down to draft the Great American Novel in today’s climate of divisiveness. Where would you start? Around what character or ensemble of characters would you craft the story of the essence of America. Perhaps, you might begin where the old dream ended; the dream of: out of many, one. Perhaps, you might lay a foundation by telling a story of how the heat failed under the melting pot and the ingredients just lay there, some decaying more quickly than others and the only heat is that of decomposition wherein the American melting pot has become the American compost pile smoldering just below the ignition point of spontaneous combustion.
You would tell the story of how the very concept of that which was meant to forge an amalgam of alloy steel in the identity of being an American has now become anathema with the various elements taking on anthropomorphic traits in their very resistance to the thought of becoming one, preferring to remain iron, oxygen, coke, silicon, magnesium, nickel and such. Being an American is no longer that which binds but, in fact, that which divides.
But perhaps you would point out that we’ve been here before. The year of 2020 is reminiscent of 1860 where the seeds sown in the Constitution of 1789 finally matured into fields of crosses across the still young country. So too, this year there has been talk of secession, slavery, tariffs, state’s rights and a larger than life individual maligned by some and loved by others. Will we get it right this time; or will we be condemned to repeat history because, even if we remember, we remember it incorrectly as explained to us by politicians and special interests groups?
What do you think?