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Tony Smith

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

"The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast. And the first one now will later be last; For the times they are a-changin.'" Written and sung by Bob Dylan in 1964. He later said about the lyrics that was how he felt.

How do you feel about Two Americas? I wasn't 20 years old in 1964. I felt America's divide. Yet, young people then felt that the old order was going to change. Today, we remain as divided a people as ever. Many young people I know do not sense a better future coming.

One writer has asked, "If we can't agree, can we coexist"? Name one major issue between the Two Americas and tell me where the middle ground is? Too many liberals think minds will be changed when all the facts are on the table. Humans do not make decisions on facts but feelings about life that happen when we are 4 or 5 years old. After that, everything in our lives needs to fit our view of the world.

The middle ground is compromise. If we will not compromise, will we coexist? The authors of "How Democracies Die" suggest partisans need to tone it down. Unless intense public issues can be discussed openly and without malice, coexistence in the American experiment will not continue. Are you hopeful? Personally, I expect the worst but hope for better.

The division in America existed before Donald Trump became president. He exploited those divisions and has stoked them daily. His dark inaugural speech was dubbed "American Carnage." It was short. It was an extended tweet. Before he came to save his people, Trump described a dysfunctional America brought low by betrayal and decay. If that is true, what has he changed?

What preacher, prophet or any leader of a nation has stirred people to a higher purpose with such talk? Is America a better place by highlighting or creating false differences among us? This is America for all of us no matter which side of the divide you live on.

You may say you hate politics, but it affects your food, your health care, the roads you travel, the education of your children, and much more. When one party seeks to rule all things, many people are left out. Can these times change for the better?

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