The skill of dividing groups of people has long been a tactic of war throughout the ages. As stated in a recent article by CJ Hopkins, “After eight blessed years of peace and prosperity under the glorious reign of Obama the Benevolent, suddenly, we find ourselves besieged on all sides by Russian-sponsored sowers of ‘discord,’ disseminators of ‘disinformation,’ inculcators of ‘confusion’ and ‘chaos,’ and other enemies of our ‘democratic values.’” (link). This statement rings true in so many avenues of Donald Trump’s current assault on truth and democracy.
What is the purpose of creating a division amongst a group of people? How does one create an advantage out of splitting up individuals into separate factions? This is something the conservatives have been doing for centuries, ever since America was in its infancy. The use of racism was spread in the 19th century as a way for poor Southerners to create a false division against slaves and to fight for the rich plantation owners in the Civil War. Following the war, President Andrew Johnson continued to use racism to attack the argument that the government should be used to assist the rise of poor men.
It’s clear how the use of division, through propaganda and fear mongering, can establish pronounced policies directed at limiting the rights of groups of people. We still experience such divisions today in many facets of politics in order to allow certain groups to push negative stereotypes and lies, all in order to advance one’s policies, however misrepresented they truly are.
The issue of immigration is a hot button in today’s political scene. With the issue of DACA front and center in current political discussion, we can see how different sides dog whistle, calling them “illegal immigrants” in an effort to rile up their base. While it’s evident that republicans will do anything to advance hateful policies, we must be diligent to remember the history of using division to separate, instead of bringing us all together to find a common solution, something we can all agree on.
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