Divide in America

During the 1960s and 1970s, there was a divide in the country amongst the differing classes that America had. These two divisions were mainly the republicans and democrats and their stances on war. This divide was so polarizing that hundreds of thousands people protested. One of the most famous protests being the one conducted at Kent State where four college students were killed by the national guard who were activated to control the crowds. Another famous protest was in New York City. Here, there was a counter protest by the “hardhats” who protested the protest essentially. 

President Richard Nixon and George Wallace tapped into stereotypes for political advantage. President Nixon “fanned the flames of polarization and reaped its rewards” (Lewis). Governor George Wallace would go on to say provocative things in his campaigns: “In the coming period, the white American working class is going to be militant, radical, and activist. The problem for us is whether that insurgency will move to the right or to the left” (Lewis). Both of these politicians used their platform to further polarize the nation for both sides as George Wallace was a democrat. Having these two cases compared is an interesting thing. Each used stereotypes for their own advantage. 

I believe the anti-war left caused much of the antagonism between the social and economic divide. As I have mentioned before, the nation was very polarized and accusations and arguments could be easily made for either side. However, I also think that it might not just be the anti-war left that caused the antagonism of the working class. I think that it was going to be a natural divide anyway. The left anti-war movement only sped up the process. I do believe it was destined to happen. After this, America sort of came together peacefully and now we have a similar divide in our working class between the republicans and democrats. This makes me believe that a multi-party system with ranked choice voting would greatly help the divide in our country. 

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