The United States of America is a fragmented society and I think this is by design. As a nation, we have been threatened before and we have persevered and survived those threats. Usually, we have been strengthened in the process. Since our involvement and defeat in Vietnam in the sixties and early seventies, it seems like our collective national pride has taken a beating both at home and abroad. Why is this? The fact that our leaders keep telling us we’re losers and that we’re incapable of thinking for ourselves may be one reason for our noted lack of national self- esteem. Our media keeps talking about the sins of the past and we’re overloaded with a sense of collective guilt might be another. Division is another distraction. Once, it was emphasized that we were all Americans together and that we were to work toward a common destiny. What changed? Our celebration of diversity in the United States has become a cult of divisiveness. Large groups of people have been compartmentalized into separate groups who care largely about the welfare of the group and not so much for the well being of other groups who also have a part in our American tapestry. This results in open hostility and violence. Group is pitted against group and the only group that seems to benefit from this is the group that has encouraged the divisiveness in the first place. Remember those fearless leaders who have no respect for anyone outside of their immediate circle and who profit from the fear and anger of others? Look to the rot in the upper class and see the matrix from which infighting among the lower class was formed. We can vote and vote again for our own interests as a people, but that does little good when the ballots are tampered with. Our Colonial ancestors took on the most powerful army in the world at the time and they won independence. It required sacrifice. It required discipline and it required help. We seek as a society the gratification of our own immediate appetites and when those appetites aren’t fed, we are given issue after issue to chew on. We then turn on people who don’t look like us and we brawl with them, as our fearless leaders ( why fear when you’re surrounded by armed guards?) encourage us to do. Rome fell to the Goths because the Empire was rotten all the way through. The final Caesar was a boy who was simply shipped into a quiet retirement while the Germanic overlords began arrangements that would later coalesce into the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The British Empire fell the first time because the higher class colonists declared themselves exploited and persuaded the lower class to fight for them. The Second British Empire fell because its subject peoples were ready to govern themselves rather than to lie prostrate to acts of a Parliament that existed halfway around the world. Infighting is almost an iron- clad guarantee that a nation will lose its cohesion and fall apart, leaving it open to invasion and conquest. Our society has never been so split among groups as it is tonight. If we fall, it will be because we as a people have lost the will to govern ourselves. If we survive, it will be because we chose to stand together as a people and cut the rot out of our society. We still have allies, just as our ancestors did in the French during the Revolution. The question is, can we muster up the discipline we need as a people to suspend hostilities and focus on dealing with the real problem our country is facing?