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On June 16, 1858 then Senate nominee Abraham Lincoln gave that speech at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. A speech that, among others, was to become a unifying factor in what was a fractured nation. It took the bloodshed and death of hundreds of thousands of mothers and fathers, of sisters and brothers, of aunts and uncles for this nation to realize the process of healing needed to begin. And the only way to do this was to drop the pretense of hatred and separatism and begin to find ways the people were similar rather than different.


Since that time this nation has ebbed and flowed between the policies of separatism and unification. Seemingly, policies of unification have taken place during periods of what could be thought of as severe crises. The most notable of these crises being WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, and the Cold War. Even though there were separatist factions during these crises events took place that would become rallying cries for the people to voice themselves as a majority faction to support unifying actions. That is not to say all issues of separatism had vanished. There was still rampant racism, gender inequality, religious fractionalizing, economic inequality of access, and poverty that still haunted the American landscape. But the overriding issue of war and survival had a psychological effect in the population to momentarily postpone but not eliminate these issues for policies of unification.


One of the major causes for this unification was the people’s trust in their government and the perception by this government that the people’s voice and strength were the driving force behind the republic. Now I must stress the word perception by the people towards their government as the underlying factor for unification in time of great need and crises.


The perception began to change greatly during the Cold War. The Bay of Pigs caused the people to question the path and correctness of government policies. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a divisive factor separating the people. Fear of an all encompassing holocaust launched by the U.S.S.R. through their satellite country Cuba led this nation to become circumspect as to the type of weaponry being invented, tested and possibly utilized by the two world powers. But conversely the action y the U.S.S.R. sending Sputnik into space caused the U.S. government to re-evaluate its position in the space race. Hence President Kennedy’s declaration of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade became a rallying cry of unification.


But then the inclusion of the Vietnam War, the war taking place in the Civil Rights Movement, the advent of the Women’s rights and Gay rights movements and the Sexual Revolution caused a split in the American population. Couple this with the perceived lies told by McNamara and Westmoreland about the definite victory that would be achieved in Vietnam and putting a halt to the Domino Theory and the Red Menace gave cause for the American people to question the validity and honesty of their government s never before. Jumping on the bandwagon of discontent the media fed the new revolution what they wished to see while lining their own corporate pockets with increased ratings shares.


Heightening this to further extremes was Watergate. This was the event that tore and connection of trust between increasing factions of people and the American government. People started to question and investigate every action this government was taking which led to the beginnings of two extreme groups. One that supported literally every action of the government and the other became an obstructionist faction wiling to block any government action. Again I must stress the word perceive in this piece.


After a while the opposing factions became so ingrained in their core beliefs that facts and trust became irrelevant. Minor unification factors did develop in the United States post Watergate. Gas shortages and the Iran hostage crisis became temporary rallying cries. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism in the U.S.S.R. also ranked high to bring the people together.


But then we turned inwardly and the devices for separatism came to the forefront once more. This was acutely evident during the impeachment proceedings of President Clinton. Post Clinton era the attack on 911 was a major unifying factor in the United States albeit brif. Since then this nation has become so factionalized and fractures that it is unrecognizable to its foundation. Reason and diplomacy have gone by the wayside leaving the people anf the rest of the world to question the validity of this nation. The pull back into a nationalist and isolationist nation is in direct opposition of an economic system that has become interwoven and global.


History has taught us that wars both domestic and international lead to chaos and ruin. Secrets lead to lies and lies lead to mistrust which is the antithesis of peace, balance and harmony in the world. What is needed now is leadership to say to the world come to the tale and talk about our similarities and differences in an open, honest and transparent manner. Waiting for the next catastrophe to unify the people is no longer an option as punitive measures lead to disastrous results. Where that leader is one only knows because for the time being any such person or group that had the courage to hold the banner will be dismantled, discredited and destroyed. So look in the mirror all you extremists as you take your last breath in a world you have hastened to destroy. The time is rapidly approaching when your cloak of lies and deceit will be exposed. The people will look through your perception of deception and the divided house will become whole on a solid foundation of honesty, balance, trust and compassion.


Ric Wells

Common Man




Stone-Eater Added Aug 8, 2018 - 7:21am
Hopefully Ric...but I'm not so optimistic. History works against us ;)
Ric Wells Added Aug 8, 2018 - 9:47am
Maybe so Stone but somebody's got to start talking some common sense to these extremist idiots.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 8, 2018 - 9:58am
Shouldn't take more than a few hundred thousand lives to make the country great again perhaps? 
Ric Wells Added Aug 8, 2018 - 10:02am
Not the most advantageous route is it Ward. But the carnage could be in the millions next time given the sophistication of the weaponry. Wouldn't be surprised if agents are here in retaliation for the sanctions on Iran. Be sure to check the expiration date on the mushrooms.
James Travil Added Aug 8, 2018 - 11:26pm
Good retrospective Ric. As a moderate independent centrist I feel like a complete outsider to the two extremes. Sometimes I side with one, sometimes the other, left or right, but never with the extremists of either. It's not good enough to be essentially neutral either you get attacked by extremists on both sides (liberals call me a rightwinger and conservatives call me a leftist) so you just can't win in the current world. Hopefully things will change for the better. Got to stay optimistic. 
wsucram15 Added Aug 8, 2018 - 11:43pm
Ric..this was outstanding. You really should write for a living.
You did a great job writing our history and the damage we have done. It has always been about money and power.   Would make a great novel.
Also I thought exactly that about Iran...I wonder how long it will be before we get hit again?  hmmmm
Jeff Michka Added Aug 9, 2018 - 12:07am
Wouldn't a nice terrorist incident be gawd's gift to the Ts?  Ric has some hope.  Where are the WB rightists to disabuse Ric of this notion there's hope?  Rightists will tell you there is no hope, and even tell you why, but they hope Trump will be president for life.  They hope he'll round up and intern "Leftists".  They hope he'll get rid of all those rapist and murdering brown people.  They have lots of hopes.  I have none, so I won't be disappointed.
wsucram15 Added Aug 9, 2018 - 12:13am
Ahhh Jeff..the gatekeeper. 
Stone-Eater Added Aug 9, 2018 - 4:04am
Common sense needs a lot of knowledge and experience apparently. And without empathy all is lost anyway...
Even A Broken Clock Added Aug 9, 2018 - 10:38am
Ric - AMEN!
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:20pm
With a leader who is openly creating distrust in experts, media and scientists and a large number of people who are lapping it up what hope is there?
These unscrupulous leaders are deliberately creating division and instability and lying.
Too many people have lost all faith in politicians, media, experts and scientists. We have belief in conspiracy theories and superstition on the increase. Issues such as climate change, mass extinctions and Russian interference in elections are vehemently denied. People even question evolution and moon landings. They believe that Europe is swamped with Muslim terrorists full of blood-lust, rapists and murderers. They would rather believe blatant propaganda from right-wing propaganda sites rather than experts. It is madness and Trump is fanning the flames. It threatens democracy and is feeding hatred.
I'm not as optimistic as you. These people are entrenched in madness.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 9, 2018 - 1:36pm
 That's a shame, we're the United States of America!
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 2:29pm
Opher-As Stone will attest to I am optimistic. It seems that throughout history something always happens so that humanity will begin to rise out of the depths of despair. We as a nation and as a world are going through a cycle of pessimism and mistrust. There will be an event that will happen to act as a unifying force to help humanity on its quest to reach the next step of civilization. What that event is I have no clue but basic physics has a tendency to take over. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is like a pendulum .The force of ying becomes the equal and opposite force of yang. 
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 2:32pm
Dino-We haven't been the "United" States since the inception of this republic. We are always at odds with each other over one issue or another. Some more intense and encompassing than others. This nation is still in its infancy compared to others. Given that we survive through this latest ordeal sanity will take hold to a certain extent once more until the next separatist issue arises. 
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 2:40pm
Stone, Ward, James, Jeff, Jeanne, EABC, Opher, Dino. Kind words by all. Thank you.
Jeanne I do write for a living. I'm just not good at marketing. If I sell a book here and there all the better. I started out writing opinion pieces for 15 newspapers in upstate New York. Got picked up 4 times in the Washington Times. Wrote for the Red River Chronicle for a while. Will send pieces to some papers occasionally but now books, pieces, short stories and poetry are my passion. I have been designated a Thunderbird (storyteller) by certain segments of the American Indian culture. So this is what I do. I write what I feel at the time and my opinion may change given new and accurate information. Growth. Plus it's a hell of a lot of fun.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 9, 2018 - 3:01pm
What gate am I keeping, wsucram15?  You can answer, only Ryan will abuse you for doing so.  Guts?  I don't see reason to "be nice" to the rightists.  They gaslight and abuse without a second thought.  Gee, if I was nice, they's become Dems?  Hardly.
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 3:03pm
Jeff. 2nd time I've seen that term. Please explain gaslighting.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2018 - 5:52pm
Ric - I'm not at all sure that metaphysics of reality works on ying and yang. But it is possible that something will come along that will require unification. That would be good.
Perhaps it will be the looming environmental catastrophe that will tell the lie and burst the bubble of the deniers?
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 5:57pm
Opher I'm not sure it doesn't. Hopefully the California wildfires are causing the deniers to think. I would hate to be in the Jet stream downwind of them. Pretty soon they'll be able to smell the smoke on the east coast if they can't already. It's happened before.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 9, 2018 - 6:13pm
Well, Ric, we're into "white skies" up here, though not too bad today.  Smoke from fires in every nearby state and ours means just weather brings it here.  Nothing like very warm, dry and smoky. *hack* *hack*  I don't think climate change deniers even care, unless it impacts them.
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 6:15pm
Jeff I'll grant you that one. Nothing like ignoring data and science.
opher goodwin Added Aug 9, 2018 - 6:55pm
Jeff/Ric - what will it take before all the dots are linked? How many extreme weather patterns do we have to have before the penny drops? Europe, Japan, Africa, the States - all coincidence?? 
James Travil Added Aug 9, 2018 - 6:56pm
"Hopefully the California wildfires are causing the deniers to think."
Hopefully but unlikely. Most of the deniers are fundys like Ryan who will just say that god is punishing us for _____(fill in the blank). 
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 7:13pm
Opher already thought of that one. We're being punished.
Wendy Bugliari Added Aug 9, 2018 - 7:51pm
Rick Wells,
I concur punished if by Nature be Punisher.
Humanity soo inhumane BUT nature takes nothing personally, just doing naturally what needs doing,
Arrogant hairy apes like us have NO right thinking selves OWNERS of anything other than occupied space of self/body. The God theory works well for those who refuse culpability/CULTability and an afterlife to boot.
HA, imagine another world letting those who destroyed this one being allowed in that gate/ WALL ha.
Better get our shit together because storms will get MUCH worse and will have NEW immigrants to hate. Coastal Refugees who happen to be Americans seeking higher ground. Guess they will just KICK them down the mountain I left NY 2001 to PA for.
The fear should be the KNOWN rather than UNKNOWN but cant convince people who prefer sky gods and $$ instead of being good stewards for future life on Earth our only planet.
~The Bug~
wsucram15 Added Aug 9, 2018 - 8:47pm
Ric..It was a sarcastic comment.  There is a definite difference between how you write and others on here do. 
OMG..everyone is good..its the style and form he uses. 
I really enjoy your work. This one is one of my favs, but you have others I liked a lot as well.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Aug 9, 2018 - 8:50pm
Ric. Dear Ric. But then we turned inwardly and the devices for separatism came to the forefront once more. 
Nature segregates all by kind. Even Socrates says, "Birds of a feather flock together".  Seperatism is Natural. And no, there is no "humanity" but nations. Everything is by blood. 
Jeff Michka Added Aug 9, 2018 - 8:55pm
So discrimination and hatred is "Natural Law?"   You get funnier by the moment, Lindsay.  I suppose this is justification for open, high tribalism.  "Hmmm.  Brown and black people not in my tribe, we need to hurt them so their tribes are diminished."  That it, Wheeler dealer?
wsucram15 Added Aug 9, 2018 - 9:00pm
Lindsay..I think you mean Plato and the translation is "Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather." 
Changes the meaning a bit.
People who study birds notice the pattern as a way to protect themselves from predators. You know the flock flying together.
No its not natural..choice is natural as is free will.
Ric Wells Added Aug 9, 2018 - 9:54pm
Thank you Jeff and Jeanne.
"What was is and was is doesn't have to be."
The ways of the past are just that past. In order to advance to the next level of civilization one must embrace the obvious and separatism is not the way. Too much time energy and expenses are wasted trying to work apart rather than together. It is the uplifting of humanity that is the goal rather than the stagnation of thought, deed, creativity and progress. We as a species have to look seven generations ahead as to how our actions of today will have an affect. Left to the devices of the status quo there would be no flight, no advances in technology, sciences, theology. No raising of the poverty levels from near disaster to livable levels. But we as a species must do more for raising ourselves we raise others. This can only e done in harmony and balance with each other. We are a class 0 civilization and in order to raise ourselves to a class 1 there is a mountain of work to e done in coordination with each other and not in site of each other. Beyond that there are 3 other classes of civilization to achieve. And in order to place ourselves on the path of these advances we must do these things in unison with one another. The old ways are just that old. So Bug and Lindsay you may scorn the old ways but the are on the horizon and thankfuly so.
FacePalm Added Aug 10, 2018 - 12:33pm
Ric Wells-
I noticed that no one had answered your question:
2nd time I've seen that term. Please explain gaslighting.  
...so i thought i'd give it a go.
Best i understand it right now, it's a form of deception used to make people doubt their senses by continually telling them that they didn't see what they saw, hear what they heard, smell what they smelled, or feel what they felt.
So now, i'll do a websearch and see how close i came:
Ok, here's what Wikipedia says:
"Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief."
Looks like the guess was pretty close.  What do you think?
Jeff Michka Added Aug 10, 2018 - 3:22pm
Think you nailed gaslighting, Faced.  Maybe a couple of members of the WB gaslight brigade will appear and confirm.  You can also look up the term related to gaslighting, "flying monkeys."  We got a bunch of those here, too.
Ric Wells Added Aug 10, 2018 - 3:39pm
Thanks to the both of you. Just another form of bullying I gather.
wsucram15 Added Aug 10, 2018 - 11:57pm
it is Ric, exactly.
Ric Wells Added Aug 11, 2018 - 12:02am
So if it walks like a duck talks like a duck and looks like a duck it's still a duck. I guess if your being gaslighted a good defense would be to eat a lot of beans or chili dogs. 

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