One Nation, Slightly Divisible Essay
What does someone think when they hear America? The meaning of America simply varies by the person. One person could say it’s a place of freedom. Another person could say it’s a place for prosperity. It all varies by the person. Even though American citizens may have different meanings of America, they are still Americans living in one nation. This idea is similar to what Scott Brooks wrote about. Scott Brooks, The author of the article “One Nation, Slight Divisible”, says that America is split into two nations.
He explains how America is split into Red and Blue America and the differences between the two. The distinction between red and blue comes from the 2000 presidential election. The coastal areas would vote Democratic (blue) and the rural areas would vote Republican (red). Red America is also known as Middle America where they live in small towns and have simple lives. Blue America is known as being classier with big businesses and a fast lifestyle.
This opinion by Brooks seems true. There is a clear distinction with Red America and Blue America.
Brooks claims that Red and Blue America are opposites in sports, clothing, stances on different issues, and more. The cultures between the two are completely different. The cultures are completely opposites, but this does not mean two different nations. America is one nation. Red America and Blue America differ in education and money. This is clearly understood in Brooks’ article. Brooks write on page 528: ”In Franklin County only 12 percent of the adults have college degrees and only 69 percent have high school diplomas.
In Montgomery County 50 percent of the adults have college degrees and 91 percent have high school diplomas. ” There is a clear difference in education level, but what does education lead to? A well-paying job that will probably take place out of institutions such as big businesses, courtrooms, or even hospitals. Most of these jobs are plentiful around cities and coastal areas or Blue America, as Brooks would say. What’s happening is that the difference in education is affecting the two lifestyles. This is why Montgomery County is richer in the sense of median household income.
The different economic statuses of the two counties show major differences. Montgomery County has nice homes with nice cars and such, while Franklin County has pickups and ranch-sized homes. This seems stereotypical but it is true from the first person prospective Brooks gives. However, Education and money doesn’t separate a nation. This is because there always have been different social classes. There have been rich and poor social classes throughout all civilizations. Also, all these civilizations were still all one nation.
Of course there was disagreements between social classes, but it’s expected. Mike Ross is the author or the article “Lives on the Boundary. ” In the last paragraph on page 101-102 he states: “We are offered a faith in the unifying power of a body of knowledge, whose infusion will bring the rich and the poor, longtime disaffected and the uprooted newcomers into cultural unanimity. ” Education has a binding power in which it can bring people together. It can also separate us, as not everyone can receive equal education.
Most of the time the poor tend to have less educated and it separates them from the rich. Red America has a lower educational level compared to Blue America, which leads to different social classes. Does that make them two different nations? A group will interact differently depending on education level, but it doesn’t backup America being two nations. All because there is a difference in social classes it doesn’t makes them completely different nations. Besides education and money, there is a difference between hobbies, sports, and shopping.
There are many places in the article where it was clear that there was a difference in the cultures. Brooks said in the 3rd paragraph on page 526: “Different sorts of institutions dominate life in these two places. In Red America churches are everywhere. In Blue America Thai Restaurant are everywhere. In Red America they have QVC, the Pro Bowlers Tour, and hunting. In Blue America we have NPR, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and socially conscious investing. In Red America the Wal-Marts are massive, with parking lots size of state parks. In Blue America the stores are small but the markups are big. The selection above plainly talks about the difference between the two Americas. Talks about how shopping is different and the different types of institutions. These different lifestyles aren’t unique. It happens all around the world. Life in the city has always been different in all countries. For example, Germany, England, South Africa, Mexico, and so on all have this effect. Cultures always differ from the city to country. Germany isn’t two nations but one. There isn’t a Yellow Germany or Black Germany. It is just Germany. America is the same.
All because life is different in one place to another in the same country, it doesn’t mean that they are two different countries. Difference in some aspects doesn’t mean they are completely different people. There is even textual support from the article “No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston. Kingston is a Chinese-American who thinks about the Chinese traditions that her parents experienced. In the 1st paragraph on page 396, it states, “Those of us in the first generations have had to figure out how the invisible world the emigrants built around our childhoods fit in solid America. Kingston is saying it is difficult having Chinese traditions in America. This is very similar to the idea of different cultures in different areas. Kingstons’ father grew up in a small village in China. Kingston is growing up in America. They experienced different cultures but there is a common bond, nationality. They are both Chinese but in very different cultures. Now, apply this idea to Red and Blue America. Two very different cultures but same people, American. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. All American citizens are one.
Immigrants from all over the world come here to express their natural rights, the American values. On page 544 it says, ”What unites the two Americas, then, is our mutual commitment to this way of life – to the idea that a person is not bound by his class, or by the religion of his fathers, but is free to build a plurality of connections for himself. ” All Americans express their belief from this idea. That is what connects all of us. You pray the way you want, eat the way you want to, become who you want to become, and etc. We are the same in being different.
The difference in religious beliefs is also reason why it seems there are 2 Americas. In Red America, Christianity runs deep through most communities and homes. Brooks stated on page 541, “Certainly Red and Blue America disagree strongly on some issues, such as homosexuality and abortion. But for the most part the disagreements are not large. ” In Red America, most families pay strong respect to the church. That being said, Christianity heavily influences most of their stances on such things. For example, abortion is strongly opposed in Red America. In Blue America it is more lenient.
The views differ due to strong religious ties. The religious ties come into play when voting for a new president. Republicans are mainly conservative and follow a strong Christian belief. Democrats are mainly liberal and think outside religious beliefs. Red America is more Republican because they share similar views such as opposition to abortion. Democrats are more open to change and people in Blue America seem to want that. This distinction between Red and Blue America is nothing. It’s nothing more than a difference in political and religious beliefs.
The difference in morals, religious values, or political beliefs doesn’t qualify them as completely different people or even a different nation. We express our rights the way we want. That’s why we are all one. We express the American values the way we want. E Pluribus Unum. Brooks even expresses his beliefs that America is one nation. There is a section in his article labeled “A Cafeteria Nation”. Even stated on page 544, “And that’s the way America is. We are not a divided nation. We are a cafeteria nation. We form cliques (call them communities, or market segments, or whatever), and when they get too big, we form sub cliques. It is crystal clear that Brooks is saying we are one nation but we all are different in many aspects. The ways we dress, vote, eat, and so on. We are a cafeteria nation. We act and socialize differently, but we are all in one nation. America is one nation not two. Some cultural differences does not make America two different nations. Educational level may make us behave differently, but does not make us different nations. Besides, the lifestyles that one person lives through in Red America are different from someone in Blue America, but they are both American.
Texts such as “No Name Woman” have this similarity. Maxine’s father and Maxine grew up in different cultures but they are both Chinese. Let’s not forget why people from all over come to America, freedom. Also social issues are different in Red America and Blue America. Red America is full with close-knit Christian communities while Blue America is more diverse in religion and cultures. In political terms, Red America shares similar views of Republicans and Blue America shares similar ideas with Democrats.
This is nothing more than differences in religious and political beliefs. However, The reason we are all American is that we want freedom and equality. We do want makes us happy. We share the belief of freedom and America is the place where it happens. Just look at 9/11. Brooks said the 9/11 rallies proved that there was one nation. Everyone was patriotic and wanted to ignore the differences between each other. It made America feel one. Brooks said on page 545,”There may be cracks, but there is no chasm. Rather, there is a common love for this nation. ” America is one nation.