It was there in the beginning, the difference was as apparent then as the hope surrounding the birth of a new nation, it simply wasn’t as pronounced.
Reason, enlightenment, and fraternity molded a set of ideals that we held up as trophies to be cherished. Equality mattered and burdens would not be born alone. Progressive and liberal, these ideals ushered in a democracy that others would strive to emulate.
Juxtaposed against –
A rugged individualism founded upon Exceptionalistic worldviews that could easily become extreme. A conservative aspect, encouraged by the White Man’s Burden and it’s notion that might makes right, God blesses the subordinates, equality is secondary to desire.
Over time, the difference grew more obvious, more acute.
Civil War laid bare the disparity between Liberal and Conservative, opened the chasm, leaving a scar that still bleeds, still pulls at the slightest movement forward.
Great Depression drew stark boundaries between rich and poor, business and government, religion and democracy.
Civil Rights movements shattered any facade of achieved unity and drew lines in the social sand that a tidal wave of human compassion can not seem to erase.
Great Recession exasperated the breech between the haves and have nots. Liberal notions of regulation and accountability conflicted with Conservative strains of government interference and free market religions.
Twin Tower catastrophe and solitary terror incidents test our resiliency. Democratic liberal trust sprinkled with caution is at odds with the Conservative instinct towards closure, induced and fed by fear.
Today’s instant news, not always dressed in truth, allows identities to manifest reflexively, extinguishing the muse of compromise and equality so that Liberals are become heathens while Conservatives claim the only corner of righteousness.
Progress is deemed evil when static policy would rather prevail.
American dream, invented upon the foundation of unbridled brotherhood, rendered a chimera under the influence of reactionary poses.
Liberal and Conservative. My two Americas.