We hear it all the time: America is divided like never before. Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives, whites vs. blacks, everyone it opposed to everyone else and no one is willing to seek common ground. In reality, the division isn’t quite that bad, nor is it worse than it has been in the past. Remember that division was so bad in the 19th century that we fought a war that ended up determining the direction the country was to go in. But there’s one division in American today that is more important than any of those other political or racial divisions. It’s a division that isn’t readily visible, but which nonetheless could cleave the country in two if things continue on their present course.
That division is between those who want freedom and those who want the feeling of safety and security. Those who want freedom want the ability to live their lives as they see fit, the ability to use their property as they see fit, and the ability to live life without having their every action circumscribed or dictated to them by government bureaucrats. They see the world as a dangerous place, and they want to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones against the dangers that surround them.
Those who want the feeling of safety and security see the world as a dangerous place too, but they’re too scared to do anything about it themselves. They want someone else to defend them and keep them safe. They want the government to step in and protect them from ever being hurt in any way. Essentially they want to live in a cocoon in which nothing bad can ever happen.
Those who want the nanny state to intervene into every aspect of society will continue to try to force their way on the rest of the population, while those who want freedom will continue to resist the government’s encroachments. The fights over gun control, gender politics, and other hot-button issues become much more readily understood when viewed through that lens rather than through that of partisan politics. It’s that division between those who want to live freely and those who want the government to act as their nanny that is the most important division in our society and that will lead to continuing conflict in the future.