A Tale of Two America's

“We cannot escape our history” a quote from none other than Abraham

Lincoln. Putting aside the oft overlooked fact that the Great Emancipator

didn’t actually believe in the equality of the races despite his freeing of the

slaves, Lincoln’s words on American history were accurate and prophetic. No

other advanced Western country finds itself with a sizeable minority of its

population that clings to the norms and ideals of the late eighteenth century,

such as the US does. While the majority of Americans yearn for progressive

change and view politics through the optic of the twenty-first century, millions

simply do not. If the US was on the psychiatrist’s couch, schizophrenia would

undoubtedly be the diagnosis.

American history feels stuck in an endless merry-go-round of the same

problems coming up time after time. Race is, unbelievably, still a huge,

unresolved issue in the US, despite a civil war, civil rights struggle and more.

Here’s the thing though. It’s not just Lincoln that had the cognitive dissonance

of freeing the slaves on the one hand and believing in racial inequality on the

other. That split American personality runs way deeper than that. The

Founding Fathers, iconic heroes of the right, forged a new Republic with racism

at its very heart. A subsequent bloody civil war led to not racial resolution, but

Jim Crow. American troops that fought in World War Two to defeat fascism,

were segregated by color. Franklin Roosevelt, held up by so many as a

champion of liberal progressivism, oversaw the internment of Japanese-

Americans during that same conflict. Against that historical backdrop, it makes