Are we really the ‘United’ States of America?

Illustration by Roe Gassett | The Signal

Over the past four years, America has become more divided than ever. But with a new year and a new president, can we truly recover? 

Frankly, no. We will forever be divided. 

Maybe instead of trying so hard to reunite a country that was never one in the first place, we should start accepting our differences and learn how to live with them together. Whether it is race, age or sexuality, the division between generations is one of our biggest problems. 

In the beginning, our country was started by rebels, breaking away from Great Britain. They started from nothing and decided to build something. In many ways, modern Americans are exactly the same: They are not afraid to break away from tradition and stand up for what they believe. 

If America wants to recover, the youth is truly the answer. 

The younger generation lives on social media. The very same generation that took the idea of a Ratatouille musical and made it happen during a pandemic, the same generation raised by narcissistic parents and the same generation that lives afraid of going to school because a school shooting is now more common than teen pregnancy. 

So, as we live on the brink of a civil war, many believe it’s going to be just like the war of 160 years ago, complete with guns, bombs and fights. In reality, if we were to have a civil war right now, it would be protests, petitions, movements and debates. 

The foundations of the U.S. are freedom, peace, equality and war. No one wants to talk about it, but we have been divided from the beginning. We were built from the outcome of a war. 

So, what if we started another one? Given the events of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, many people have gone to social media to express their feelings about the possible civil war. It has happened before; history is bound to repeat itself, so why not now?

I am just trying to shine some light on what might happen if we don’t start accepting each other very soon. In his Inauguration Address, Joe Biden said, “Let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.” 

Biden addressing the country as a “divided nation” says a lot about this past year. Biden’s presidency might be the first step in creating a newly united nation, not fixing the old one. 

A nation where we can celebrate our differences while understanding that not everyone wants to be celebrating, where we don’t just desire change but make it happen.

Whether a civil war breaks out this year or in 100 years, it won’t be because of a certain former president’s mistakes or because two generations can’t agree on anything. It will because our country was built to be divided. 

The world isn’t just black or white anymore. We either start looking at the grey areas, or we might as well begin enlisting.