The Divided States of America!


How did this happen? How do we fix it?

Earlier today, I wrote in Around the Block:

Link: (

“So, after four years of Trump’s incompetence and lying, after nine months of a badly handled federal response to a pandemic that has killed over 225,000 Americans, after a presidential term that has lowered America’s standing among nations, what we’ve learned is that nothing has changed.”

Yvonne Abraham says the same thing, in a slightly different way, in her column, “How Do We Fix This?” in today’s Boston Globe:

“We aren’t really one America, but two. Remarkably, about half of the voters in this country lived through these last four ugly, miserable, destructive years and said, ‘Yes please, give me more of that.’”

Abraham concludes her essay with this lament,

“Watching the massive voting lines over the last couple of weeks, and the piles of ballots arriving by mail, it was tempting to think that, in spite of himself, Trump had unified Americans at last. It was easy to wish that what we were seeing was this country remembering its values, and recoiling from him.We now know what it really meant: We’re more vehemently, and dangerously, divided than ever.”

While I ended this way,

“One thing is certain however – we live in a deeply divided country; a country that is out of sorts; a country that I don’t see healing anytime soon. I wonder. Is there something I’m missing? Is there something I don’t get? Am I the crazy one?”

How did this happen to this country, this “Shining City on a Hill?” And, how do we fix it?

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

6 thoughts on “The Divided States of America!

  1. The million dollar question…is it fixable? We live in different realities and I am so disappointed in this country! I hoped we were better than this!


    1. Not to be “Debbie Downer,” but since almost 50% of the country voted for him after the past four years, and more specifically, the last nine months, probably not. And, this headline in a New Yorker article today says it all: “Biden May Win, But Trump Remains the President of Red America.”


  2. Well Teddy, you might well be crazy…but there’s nothing you’re missing…what you see, is what you get.

    Democracy is messy…and there’s never been another multi-cultural, multi-racial democracy in history, that has survived, certainly not one of our size. We’ve been doing this for over 200 years…and here we are. Hey, even the great Roman Republic (hardly a democracy) self-destructed.

    trumpism didn’t create the soft underbelly of American democracy and our populace, but rather exposed it.
    Democracies in general, die at the hand of conspiracy theorist autocrats…and/or death by a thousand cuts. That’s what concerns me the most. 😢

    This from Hermann Göring:

    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

    It works the same way in any country.”

    Fixing this won’t be easy. Autocracies can change at the drop of a hat…democracies change over time, needing to shift ‘the hearts and minds’ of (in this case) hundreds of millions of people.

    Good luck to us all.


    1. We’re going to need all the luck we can get to shift “the hearts and minds” of this 50%. A story in The New Yorker today was headlined: “Biden May Win, But Trump Remains the President of Red America.” Fixing this will be a long, long term endeavor.


  3. Ted, you wrote what I was thinking, and you wrote it so well. No, you’re not crazy. We’re all disappointed and we’re frightened for the future of this country. Frankly, I’m mad as hell that half of the population has been deluded by this dangerous, mentally ill president. We have to continue to do better than this administration has done and do it with as little acrimony as possible. The anxiety and anger I felt watching the votes coming in last night was detrimental to my health. We can’t allow this to happen again. I’m going to try to stay positive.


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