Divide and Conquer: A Game of Thrones?

DivideConquerby Leigh Bravo   8/29/14
I recently attended my monthly book club group, which is comprised of women from differing political persuasions, including but not necessarily limited to conservatives and liberals. We can have some interesting discussions, as you might expect, especially when the topic broaches anything political.

But today, in this current polarized atmosphere, what might have been interesting, informative and polite conversations that dispense at the end of the evening with the world’s problems solved, they tend to morph into disagreements and in some cases, hurt feelings, frustration and anger.

I have always felt that women can discuss issues, contemplate solutions and together solve just about any problem. We all have many things in common and of course as mothers and care takers, we have the ability to step back and see the path that must be taken in order to spare the lives of our children and make the world a safer place for future generations. We are not interested in war, but would have no hesitation in stepping up to the plate if our families or our way of life were threatened. In the past, after a banner evening of solving the ills of the world, I’ve left convinced that if women could rule the world; it would be a much better place.

Why are we otherwise so determined to spread the misinformation and rhetoric that is fed to us by the very politicians and media who are determined to take control of every aspect of our lives?

So, what has created such a wall between us on the political front? We’ve always known differences were there, but now they’ve somehow taken root and grown into a wall of vines so thick that we are unable to see through them. What has pushed us into our respective corners, causing a rift that cannot be resolved? What has caused such polarization?

What is polarization?

In politics, polarization refers to the divergence of political attitudes to ideological extremes, a sharp division into opposing factions.

I have been guilty of angry responses to angry attacks on my beliefs. Why? When you take the time to thoroughly research the facts on an issue facing the country, you expect some thoughtful discussion. You expect someone to listen before they attack. We cannot all take the monumental amount of time required to research each and every issue facing the United States today. Yet instead of listening to those who have some expertise on a subject and asking questions or adding additional useful information to the debate, we choose to respond with anger, shut them down or we close our minds and refuse to hear. Why? Most Americans want to discuss the state of our Union, not for political gain, monetary gain, or power, but for the simple reason that they love this country and are concerned for her future. Why are we otherwise so determined to spread the misinformation and rhetoric that is fed to us by the very politicians and media who are determined to take control of every aspect of our lives?

We will always have differing views as long as there are people on this planet. But why has polarization become so commonplace? I believe the situation has become formidable because of the atmosphere fabricated by the very leaders we have elected to protect us. Our leaders have irresponsibly, but very purposefully, used our emotional responses to current events against us. Ultimately they use the disharmony they’ve created to manipulate us into playing a game they have invented where the winners have been pre-determined: them. I know it’s a cliché, but “divide and conquer” has become a reality in today’s political climate.

As Americans, must be able to recognize the leaders who use polarization for their own political ends. We must resist the urge to be manipulated and instead work towards a common goal and find solutions that make the country stronger, without demonizing those who disagree. Don’t we all want what is best for our Country? Don’t we all want a world where our children and we are not bogged down in debt and allowed to live the lives we choose without government interference?

We have to recognize that politicians, special interest groups and the media have one thing on their mind: winning and expanding their own wallets.

We must remember that the United States is a Republic and our founding fathers fought and died for a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It was not founded on a government controlled by a “few,” benefiting the “few” and growing so large that the “few” govern the people.

We must remember that we all have differing views based on personal life experiences, therefore resulting in our belief in, or support of specific solutions that we feel or have had success in using. We cannot only look towards those who believe as we do, but seek out those who believe differently and listen to their points of view. We must offer the opportunity for those of an opposing view to explain their position, offer the facts supporting their stance and in turn offer ours. Solutions can only be reached and supported when all opinions are heard, respected, discussed, considered, and backed by fact not political rhetoric.

Why are we so opposed to hearing the facts when they go against the very agenda that our politicians are pushing? Why do we have such blind faith in what our leaders tell us? Are their claims backed by fact or are they just using their power to further divide us on the issues in order to control us? Do our leaders have a history of lying? I think we all know the obvious answer to that question.

We have been purposefully divided by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference and gender.

Statistics currently show that Americans have no faith in their political leaders. So why do we continue to vote for them and allow them to dictate the rules of the game while refusing to discuss the actual facts, and enact the very solutions that will serve the general good? Why do we continue to demonize and shut down the American citizens who only want what is best for our country yet put blind faith in the leaders who go to the extreme to keep us in the dark?

Have they trained us so well, that we no longer recognize manipulation at its worse? Have they manipulated us so well that we continue to believe and allow the media to misinform the very public they vowed to inform? The media who took an oath to provide a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues through honesty and integrity? Where is the outrage? Where is the demand for change? Why do we allow these leaders, special interests and the media to make the rules that will ultimately cut us out of the game and result in our own demise?

Unfortunately, America has become a place of apathetic individuals easily manipulated because we have been distracted from the real issues at hand. As technologically advanced as we have become, it boggles the mind that the “masses” have time to scroll through the lives of the many on Facebook, but no time to educate themselves in the matters that will affect their lives and their children’s lives for generations to come.

When we allow politicians, special interest groups and the media to lie to the American people, create negative ads attacking honest opponents falsely, making promises they have no intention of keeping, all without consequences, the American people are the real losers.

When we allow the media to be bought, sold and controlled by one political faction, to pick and choose the stories they want to report, to omit stories that do not put their agenda in a positive light, to report the news with their own personal political slant, then the American people are the real losers.

When we allow the government to become corrupt, operate with no consequences or accountability, employ friends and supporters without adequate experience, spend our money irresponsibly, tie our hands with regulations and taxes, and repress our constitutional rights, then the American people are the real losers.

When we allow our educational system to expose our children to only one political philosophy, to pick and choose the history they want to teach, to suppress their freedom of speech and religion, to teach our children what to think and not how to think, the American people are the real losers.

We must recognize that in order to raise a generation of real thinkers, problem solvers, and our future leaders, we must expose them to every view, every side of the story, and allow them to decide what is best for them, their families and our Nation. We will not raise true leaders and problem solvers by denying exposure to all the facts, ignoring history or by demonizing those with differing views. The United States cannot remain the true example of freedom to the world or maintain our position of power when we systematically allow our government to become our jailers.

It is time for the left and the right to come together as the people of the United States against our common enemy and demand that our government hand us back the keys to the castle and take up their rightful position in servitude to the American people as our constitution demands!


Leigh Bravo blogs at The Trumpet. • (162 views)

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14 Responses to Divide and Conquer: A Game of Thrones?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In the past, after a banner evening of solving the ills of the world, I’ve left convinced that if women could rule the world; it would be a much better place.

    Well, as long as the rule is by the Margaret Thatchers and Sarah Palins of the world, I’m fine with that. But I’m generally not a fan of the idea that “if only women ruled the world.” In some respects, they do now. There are more women than men (although, oddly, they are still referred to as a “minority”). The power of their vote drives things to an enormous extent now — for better and for worse.

    Scientific studies have shown how easily and quickly people will divide themselves into factions. They will often divide themselves over trivial issues. Polarization is nothing new. It seems deeply embedded in human nature. What may be somewhat new is the power of mass media, guided by political and media consultants, to manipulate opinion like a skilled puppeteer.

    I’m constantly amazed at the rubbish people tell me about any issue if all they’ve done is listen to the mainstream media. And this goes for the right or the Left. And, as you say, we are indeed being played for fools, less so by the right, but we are not immune.

    The answer? Well, this is one reason I started this site. I saw a vital need to get beyond the usual BS that people were listening to or reading. And if women would like to save the world, I suggest starting by pooling your money together and founding a women’s conservative political action committee that can vet and promote conservative women candidates.

    I may get in trouble for speaking frankly from time to time, but if you let the dust clear after I have spoken you will likely see that what I said is true. This is one of the reasons I am only too happy to promote women writers on this site. Frankly, the culture has emasculated most men. Many — even unto the edge of 40 or more — are the political equivalent of boys.

    And yes, ladies, you have played a part in emasculating them, whether you are liberal or conservative. Men have been marginalized and women (whether blameless or not) have been the beneficiaries. They have gained power. This is the reality. Now, go and use it wisely. And, please, easy on the idea that “if only women ruled the world.” Never forget that at least half of the women will be like Hillary. There will be very few Margaret Thatchers.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    It would be nice if people who disagree could discuss matters in a civil fashion, but for various reasons that isn’t happening. The cartoon series “Prickly City” has had a series of strips this week in which the 2 main characters (one to the left, the other to the right) find themselves separated by a growing gap, and increasingly convinced that the other must be at fault.

    I think much of this comes from liberals who absorb the intolerant mindset of the elites. In particular, I will note my concept of “virulent liberalism”, which refers to people who are extremely dextrophobic (to the point of outright paranoia about the consequences of the Other Side taking power) and so, when something activates their fear, they will do Whatever It Takes to defeat them. But we should also remember that a. not all liberals are actively virulent (and some may not be latently so), and b. some conservatives are virulent as well. (Most of us, with our concerns about the future the Black God [i.e., Chernobog] seeks to create, are at risk. I believe the key is always hewing to The Truth as one’s lodestone. Pursuing that — which cannot be done by sacrificing factual truth [istina] to dogma [pravda] is one way to escape the danger of virulence.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    We have been purposefully divided by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference and gender.

    Coincidentally, I was having a discussion on this tonight at our weekly Italian dinner. I will say here what I said there.

    Wherever there are people there will be differences. Wherever there are politics there will be differences. But our recent political class has developed the “divide and rule” philosophy to new heights. With this they have grown the government to such an extent that it will be almost impossible to rein it in.

    Not only is there rich against poor, black against white, male against female, North against South; divides which are already enough to keep the government growing in size and power.

    There is also the fact that the government has grown so powerful that it has been able to create constituencies which suck at the government teet and these will never give up the special positions they have gained.

    There is the farm lobby which soaks up about $100 billion per year, there is the bank and finance interest which gets special carve outs for themselves such as “carried interest”. There are the old folks who demand, on average, about three times as much from Social Security and Medicare as they put in. There are the 50 states which go to the federal government hat in hand for their share of the tax plunder. I could go on.

    Suffice it to say that all government has a bit of corruption in it. That is the human condition. But this is manageable as long as the government is small and does not have its tentacles into every part of society.

    We have let our government gain the power and grow to the point where it effects almost all facets of our daily lives. Thus the country is being thoroughly corrupted by the government, as the people have let themselves be bought.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Very well said, Mr. Kung. And I think central to this factionalism is that it is analogous to the 14 pigs vying for the mother’s 12 teets. I’m convinced that much of human brainpower is used for deceit and self-deceit. One may say that one is in this or that faction because of some high principle, but the reality is that people are trying to either protect their pork or expand it. It is a learned behavior. And there is no getting past this “factionalism” while the government is so large and redistributes so much money.

      We could be the proverbial Hatfields and McCoys, you and I, and it would make no difference if the Federal government wasn’t as large and expansive as it is now. Our fighting would just be for show rather than for dough.

  4. Misanthropette says:

    When institutions created to protect the innocent turn on them, what do you expect? Our moral void leads to polarization; division was and is inevitable.

    The Supreme Court found emanating penumbras granting American women the ability to kill with impunity. I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I simply cannot find any way around that to, “America is basically good, why can’t we all get along?” On some level, I recognize now that whatever was good about this country will never be again. It will never be innocent; never possess the simple goodness or moral clarity it once possessed and there will never be unity of purpose, peace or harmony. There will never be cooperation or true tolerance towards opposing views. As long as the left is willing and able to kill the most innocent among us, and to virulently defend that murder, how can that be? How can we tolerate that? If they’re willing to go there, where else will they go? For every view they have on anything else, I have to reply with, “Yes, but abortion.” That’s the end of the argument for me. There is nothing else anyone on the left has to recommend any of their arguments, because Abortion! Let’s face it: we are the Nazis. We just don’t want to admit that we are that bad. I apologize for being simplistic, but morality is simple. We have debates about whether it’s OK to use aborted children’s tissues to cure diseases? Maybe it’s me, but I believe we’ve morphed into gruesome monsters.

    I remember my mother telling me that after Roe v. Wade the U.S. wouldn’t stop at legalizing abortion. It hasn’t. It won’t stop with euthanasia, or the commercialization of children, the sexualization of children, or any other biological or biomedical unimaginable horror. The jig is up: we have no moral authority and as a result there can never, ever be unity or agreement with the left as long as abortion is legal. That is a simple and self-evident truth.

  5. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    “Don’t we all want what is best for our Country? Don’t we all want a world where our children and we are not bogged down in debt and allowed to live the lives we choose without government interference?”

    No, Leigh, we don’t, and that’s the only problem with your well-intentioned effort here. The Left wishes to rule in the manner of the Soviet Communists, even though that rule will reduce our lives to servitude and poverty, and they will continue to pile on the debt which allows them to buy votes through various social-welfare schemes. Some of them don’t understand that continued deficit spending will lead to economic collapse and some of them do, but they’re both agreed that the spending will continue. Nor is it “time for the left and the right to come together as the people of the United States against our common enemy” (supposedly the government): the government is only our enemy to the extent it is controlled by the political Left (which it largely is), and the real enemy is the Left itself. We Conservatives cannot team up with it or compromise with it – attempting to do so is why we now have a soft tyranny in the U.S. There is no possible compromise between those who wish to rule and those who desire their freedom.

    This is a war, whether those on our side wish to face that unpleasant fact or not. Either the Left will destroy us or we will destroy them. To restore our freedom, we must either destroy them politically, at least in their present form of a Democratic Party that rules by bribery and coercion, or if that is no longer possible, then through eventual strife. If the Left agrees to a peaceful separation, that strife will be minimal, taking place as the areas of the country they control inevitably collapse and we take them over. If they won’t agree to a peaceful separation, it may be necessary to actually shed some of their blood. These facts are unpleasant, but there they are.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      No, Leigh, we don’t, and that’s the only problem with your well-intentioned effort here. The Left wishes to rule in the manner of the Soviet Communists, even though that rule will reduce our lives to servitude and poverty, and they will continue to pile on the debt which allows them to buy votes through various social-welfare schemes.

      That’s a good point, Nik, and bears repeating.

      Dennis Prager says he had always been of the opinion that the Left and Right wanted the same thing. It’s just that they had different methods. He has come to conclude (correctly) that the Left and Right have different goals altogether, let alone methods.

      Factionalism itself (aka “polarization”) can still be explored as a separate topic, or one bolted on top of this reality. But, indeed, not all want what is best for this country, at least as founded. And many would be quite happy (the “no borders” lunatics) if our national boundary dissolved altogether, thus one understands another impetus for illegal immigration.

      Ditto to your other points as well. And it must be said (and Leigh is completely correct in this regard), that many are manipulated beyond their knowing. They are not privy to any kind of master plan of the Left. All they may know is that illegal aliens are “victims” and it would be “mean” to keep them out of the country if they want to come here (while being ignorant of the overall plan to add easy voters to the Democrat Party, or even cheap labor to business). Or that denying same-sex couples the right to “marry” is “discriminatory,” and we just can’t do that (while being ignorant of the overall plan which is to crash marriage altogether so that dependency will be on the government).

      The same regarding debt. It’s “mean” to deny something that somebody wants. But, at the top, the very ideology that our president suckled on was that of ACORN, the idea that you would hand out all this “free stuff” as a way to break and bring down the entire system.

      Thus we see that most voters, although highly factionalized (and largely because of this), have little to no idea what is actually going on. And it’s worse than that. They just don’t care.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I’ve long held similar views regarding liberals and conservatives, that they start out with very similar overall goals but become increasingly separated due to different priorities in those goals (such as the relative importance of freedom vs. equality) as well as methods. I still think this is true, provided one differentiates leftists from more traditional (though not necessarily classical) liberals. The leftists are Orwellian power-seekers, and care about nothing else in the end — not even the goals they use to justify their seizure of power. That’s where the key separation is, and that’s why there can be never be any true compromise with them. Any compromise that doesn’t give them everything they want is merely a temporary step, moving the Overton window a bit further in their direction. Think of the old German Drang nach osten, only this is a perpetual drive to the Left.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The Left are like Hamas. They may pretend that they are willing to have a truce, but they never give up on their goal, i.e. the destruction of our Western Heritage and Israel, which are now becoming more intertwined.

  6. Anniel says:

    All I could think while reading this is The Lord saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” I would love to think truth will be heard, but often truth is the LAST thing to be heard.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    In the past, after a banner evening of solving the ills of the world, I’ve left convinced that if women could rule the world; it would be a much better place.

    This is a conceit one often hears from women who are not appreciative of the difficult and demanding role men have played in history and the sacrifices they have made. Men are typically cast off as “war mongers,” but many men have died protecting their families. It takes bravery and eternal vigilance to fill the role of the man, not wishful thinking

    The ladies at your monthly book club may be able to come to agreement on many things, but it is doubtful any of them actually have the responsibility of governing, so your disagreements have only been of consequence to yourselves and not the rest of the world. It is improbable that such amity could be transferred to the public arena. And in case there is any doubt, one only has to look into the facts.

    Most might be surprised at the number of female heads of state or government there have been over the last fifty years. Try and look it up. During this period, peace hasn’t been “bustin out all over” to borrow a phrase from Carousel.

    Thatcher went to war. Meir went to war. Gandhi went to war. Bandaranaike was fighting internal problems all the time in Sri Lanka. Bhutto approved Pakastani attacks on Afghanistan and later recognized the Taliban government. Shinawatra helped stir up riots on the streets of Thailand to support her political power. Kinigi of Burundi and Uwilingiyimana were there at the beginnings of the Rwuandan/Burundi civil strife. If you want to study a real piece of work, go back further and look into the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi.

    Angela Merkel, did not play nice with Greece in the Euro meltdown. Even though she is a woman, it is doubtful she wanted to when hundreds of billions were at stake. And even had she wanted to, the electorate of Germany would have punished her and her government severely had she acted the gentle Hausfrau and sacrificed Germany’s interests to Greece’s. No amount of feminine goodwill and sensitivity can overcome such harsh political realities.

    I am not saying any of these women were worse than men. I am saying that just because they were females didn’t make them better than men.

    Countries have their own interests. Politicians inherit their political past and present from those who ruled before them and from geopolitics in general. Therefore, facts on the ground and circumstances tend to box in any politician’s room for maneuver, man or woman.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The movie 55 Days in Peking has a very interesting portrayal of the infamous Dowager Empress. She’s almost as much fun as a Chinese ruler as the opportunist Yuan Shih-Kai, who became President of the Chinese republic after the 1912 revolution.

  8. Leigh bravo says:

    My oh my, what a dust up I caused by making my comment about women ruling
    The world. The whole section on my bookclub is just an attempt to say how we, or
    any other group could always get together, discuss, comment and come up with solutions to our problems.. We just happen to have nothing but women in my club.
    Now we can’t even discuss politics due to the division and the lack of research by most
    in the club. Add that to their belief in mainstream, and you have a hot mess on your
    hands. Lighten up guys!!

    I think there are a lot of democrats out there who are members of
    The old Democratic Party that might be willing to recognize the polarization and
    manipulation that has grown so rampant! We all just need to take a breath and try
    to inform those who still believe in the old America! Mainstream won’t do it so we
    Have to do it! Polarization won’t fix anything! We have to try!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Polarization won’t fix anything, but when you have an app enabling you to find out whether the people at a company whose products you encounter in a store contribute to liberal or conservative causes/candidates in order to boycott those you disapprove of . . . I gather that ideological liberals really like that idea, and I’ve encountered at least one conservative who agreed. (And if this catches on enough to pressure executives to support liberals simply to avoid boycotts by liberal zealots — if you’ll pardon the redundancy — then conservatives will have to respond in kind.

      As for Democrats who might be reachable, perhaps the best way would be to cite the worst abuses of political correctness (Rotherham might be a good start), and see how they react. If they can’t see anything wrong with, say, making false calls to the police to get SWAT teams to take down conservatives you especially dislike for purely political reasons (as some liberal zealots do), then they’re hopeless anyway.

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