E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

In 2019, there is a clear yearning by the majority of the populous of the United States for unity. The world grows smaller and easier to understand with the continued advancement of technology, yet the lines of division grow deeper amongst our population.

The hope for an informed and unified citizenship has fallen to declarations of repeated public discourse, propagated through social media outlets. This has helped reinforce the fears of different cultural and ethnic groups, narrowing our vision to focus on ever-shrinking groups of like-minded people.

Too often do we use mass media to reinforce our close-minded idealism instead of embracing the knowledge that can be gained from the perspectives of those different from us.

Progressive groups call out the conservatives of middle America and elsewhere for the alleged perpetuation of racism, xenophobia and classism, while those on the right criticize liberals for discarding traditional values and failing to uphold the principles upon which America was founded.

While both sides have different visions for the same success of America, extreme partisanship, driven largely by the manipulation of mass media, has only gone to further exasperate these issues, often blurring the lines between what is subjectively ideal and objectively pragmatic.

Ideally, America is founded to be an equal land of liberty and justice, where the success of an individual is solely determined by their own ambition. The optimism of these ideals binds us in unity. In the wake of 9/11, Americans were united behind overt threats to our way of life and perspective.

18 years later, none of us have become less American individually. What has changed is our collective and individual faith in being able to rise and conquer these threats.

We must keep an open-mind to the perspectives of those who are different and have empathetic hearts for those who feel wronged.

We must debate, not to force our opinion upon one another, but instead to understand one another and compromise on solving issues in a way that is best representative of America and the interests of its people.

Anson Ballow

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