Is America a Melting Pot? Is it analogous to what chemists call a “solution”, different substances joined together to form a homogeneous mixture? Is it analogous to what chemists call a “suspension”, different substances joined together to form a heterogeneous mixture?
Are Americans Americans? Or are Americans Whites and Blacks and Hispanics, men and women and transgenders, gays and straights and bisexuals, rich and poor and middle class, coastal elites and southern rednecks and rustbelt deplorables, and radicals and reactionaries and traitors? Is the only homogeneity in America the belief that others are un-American?
How did America evolve from a unified “We The People” to divisive categories of people defined by pollsters, focus groups, and political campaign advisors? Is the evolution the result of politicians putting Party before Country? In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned it would evolve exactly as it has, for exactly that reason. Why did we ignore his warning? Why haven’t we heeded his Farewell Address?
Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential candidate, said Stacey Abrams (a Black woman) lost the 2018 election for Governor of Georgia because of “voter suppression” of Black voters. Why does he exclude White voters from the Melting Pot?
Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State, campaigned on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. She said “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other”. Why does she exclude men from the Melting Pot?
Hillary Clinton, 2016 Presidential candidate, said “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables”. Why does she exclude 25% of Americans who voted in 2016 from the Melting Pot?
With greater intensity than a firestorm on the surface of the sun, the Fourth Estate devotes years before and after every Presidential election to explaining how and why candidates do and don’t appeal to specific categories of Americans. The categories they create include Party affiliation, skin color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, wealth … .
Will America return to “government of the people, by the people, for the people”? [President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863]
Stephen B. Benisch, June 19, 2019 (Revised September 11, 2019)