Facebook Activity



Teen Ink on Twitter

Home > Forums > Teen Ink Forums > News & Issues > Americans Unite!

Teen Ink Forums

Lively discussions with other teens
   
Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. posted this thread...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I was looking at a penny today, and I noticed the motto, "E Pluribus Unum" - "From Many, One." It made me sad, because I'd just been reading the threads here on Teen Ink that show the great divide in our country today. America has made it through so many divisions, from the division of colonies to the division of North and South. We might not be divided geographically now, but we're certainly divided idealogically; and a house divided against itself cannot stand. 
 
I'm tired of fighting. I don't want to argue any more. I want us all to be Americans first, and members of a political party second. Is this possible? What can we do to heal the animosity between parties? What can we do to make America one? 

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
WordAddict replied...
Nov. 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

Thank you for creating this thread. I do think that this election has largely been a roller-coaster ride. We're simply wiped out at this point, all of us are.
 
"Americans first, and members of a political party second."
 
This means a lot to me, and to other people I am sure, also. I do think this is possible. If we not only acknowledge, but accept, the differences in our beliefs (and just about anything else), and do not demonize others because of their differences, then harmony is definitely possibile. There will forever be disputes between people when it comes down to elections—we are a two-party system, after all. Not a one-party system. But I think that if we spread that message, "Americans first," then we can see past those differences, and even embrace them. We cherish our freedom to choose differently. Let it not cloud our perception towards one another as individuals.
 
 

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Nov. 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Can we play the song "We are One" from Lion King 2?
 
I totally agree with you.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
stuntddude replied...
Nov. 14, 2016 at 4:37 am

Controversial though it may be, I am not an American first. I don't assume on principle that the country I was born into is the best, nor do I believe that a citizen of the same country is any more deserving of respect or solidarity on principle of the country they were born into. I grew up with the internet, after all - I am more a citizen of the net than I am of my own country, culturally, and I identify more with any one of a number of subcultures than I do with the mainline culture where I geographically live. I am not under the illusion that any of my cultural values are uniquely American. I'm a person first, not an American or a Democrat or whatever, and I put my identity and my sense of morality before the culture and will of my country in all cases.
It's easy enough to avoid arguing a topic when you're largely unaffected by its outcome. When you're tired of fighting, you can personally stop and call for a cease-fire. Let's just put down our arguments, forget our differences, and agree to stick to talking about other, fresher, less controversial topics. Sounds good, right? Except that for some people who are just as tired of fighting, they can't call a truce, because their livelihood is on the line. Many of the political issues you have strong opinions on may not have much weight to you, but they may mean the difference between life and death, prosperity and poverty, happiness and suffering, or protection and denial of basic human liberties for other people. Those people don't get to take a break.
It's good to celebrate our similarities, but it's a grave mistake to ignore the important ideological differences just because one finds finds them uncomfortable or tiresome. Especially when the truth is that many of these issues are not areas where one can expect to agree to disagree, and not all opinions (or people) are worthy of respect.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Nov. 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

@ stuntdude
I don't think the point of this thread was to ignore differences or disregard people's beliefs or sweep issues under the rug. I think it was meant to help spread some unity and cool down the hostility between many Americans and people. No one's trying to squash your individuality or ideologies. So it doesn't matter if you identify as a citizen of America or the internet or your backyard or Land of Oz, we're all human beings, can we at least unite as homosapiens?
There is a time and place to debate or argue a topic, and I don't think anyone wants that to end - I'm partaking in a protest in a couple days to bring awareness to police brutality. Yeah, a break would be nice. But I hear what you are saying, but I just think you misinterpreted the whole point of this. At ease, fellow human being.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 14, 2016 at 5:36 pm

"It's good to celebrate our similarities, but it's a grave mistake to ignore the important idealogical differences just because one finds them uncomfortable or tiresome."
I agree 100% with the above statement, and even moreso with the sentence "Many of the political issues...may mean the difference between life and death...for other people." We can't just ignore the important questions. We have to take a stand for the truth and stick with it, no matter how much opposition or discomfort we have to deal with because of it.
 
We shouldn't give up our deeply held beliefs just because arguments are annoying. Far from it. But we do have to stop bickering - stop seeing each other as enemies, and start seeing each other as fellow Americans, countrymen, friends. If we care deeply about one another and make that clear to each other, we'll be one big step closer to being able to make progress on the crucial questions. 

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
WordAddict replied...
Nov. 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm

My side united against your side. If you do not agree with me, if you do not come to my side and accept my truth, I will not only make my stand against you and your beliefs, but I will punish you for it.
What must be done, has to be done. It is only for your own good, after all.
 
^A.K.A., not what we're advocating here^
 
Tough love is not love at all, that is, if you're hurting others, killing others, to make a statement clear. Yes, we should stand for our beliefs, stand for our truths, and attempt to right a wrong when we see it. Should we demonize others, hurt others, belittle others, in the process? Will hurting really encourage unity in the end?

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm

We should be willing to die for the truth, but also be willing to die for the good of our enemy. 

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Nov. 16, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Speaking of the enemy, I could not find myself to follow through in participating in this rally against the local police department. For one, it was poorly organized and was dangerous in the fact that there were counter-protestors and police weren't happy and there were helicopters. But the flyer for the rally kept calling the police department "The Enemy" because they aligned with Trump and called them the "strong arm of white supremacy" and was really aggressive and it was really unsettling for me.
I am totally against police brutality (as my former thread shows) so I feel bad about not participating. But I didn't feel comfortable pointig that finger and shouting "the enemy" thats not my idea of how the solution should come about. I don't know. Maybe I was just being a coward (I was kinda nervous for my safety) but it still felt very narrow-minded.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
CNBono17 replied...
Nov. 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm

That does sound pretty narrow-minded--on both sides. Glad you're safe :) As far as police brutality goes...I'm not sure that kind of protest is really effective anyway, since most police departments don't have those problems. I think the issue is that one in a hundred do, and those are the ones that make news. I'm not saying the problem's not serious, because it is, but...maybe there's a better way of solving it. Idk. 

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Nov. 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

There IS a better way at solving it. If you ahve weeds in your garden don't just tear the leaves, go for the root. I have a brother at a nearby college and his solution involves large community conferences where the issues are addressed, discussed, stripped raw and exposed and the goal is to come up with real actionable solutions. The first event, we were shocked at how the people who came were not just from our colleges nearby but from all over the area, and high schoolers and adults came. It was a big turnout and I feel like it really hit home. That is a solution I feel better about. While it isn't as direct and focuses more on this generation, I feel like it is still important.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
SparaxisThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 29 at 11:58 am

I thought that me and an Independent American government teacher were the only ones that believe political parties are bad for America. Thank God that's not true.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
SparaxisThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 29 at 12:06 pm

I especially hate how the bipartisan jerks make certain issues look like they don't matter, and how they threaten you if you don't agree with them 100%. So un-American if you ask me.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Apr. 29 at 1:17 pm

I actually like the way most of Europe does it: Germany, for instance, has quite a few parties to choose from, so this whole schism that we have isn't as big over there. The parties have to work with each other and form coalitions, so more than one party has power if their coalition has majority. One party can't just dominate legislature.
 
I really hate the 'you're either with me or against me' attitude that's coming about, because despite being more conservative than liberal, there are multiple issues I'd agree with liberals on, and I'd be perfectly willing to compromise rather than dig my heels in. But it seems very difficult now. If you're conservative and you share an opinion, you get shut down by being called a bigot, self-centered, hidebound, etc. If you're liberal and you share an opinion, you're just one of those naive special snowflakes that has no idea what the world is like. If you're a kid... well, I don't really need to say it. It's impossible to fix anything if no one will even have a conversation.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
stuntddude replied...
Apr. 30 at 2:52 am

I'm just here to mention ranked voting systems. If you're tired of the two-party political process, promoting alternative voting systems is probably the most actionable thing you can do right now. I recommend CGP Grey's explanatory videos on the subject, if you haven't already seen them:
 
youtu.be/s7tWHJfhiyo

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
Apr. 30 at 10:22 am

I haven't seen the video yet, but what do you think of instant run-off voting? Seems like it could take awhile if the votes were really close.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread
BlueRoses451This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 1 at 9:40 am

I don't mind agruing over topics as long as there are a couple things...
One, you aren't being rude or agressive.
Two, you at least have some knowlege of the topic.
Three, you aren't just doing the I can't hear you rebuttal.

Reply to this Thread Post a new Thread

Launch Teen Ink Chat
Site Feedback