Hanging Together or Separately
July 4, 2017. America is not a happy place. It is splitting apart rhetorically and if only a fraction of the threats posted in social networks are acted on it will split apart in other ways. In this FRDH podcast Michael Goldfarb looks at how Americans have forgotten Benjamin Franklin’s words on hanging together versus hanging separately. How can Americans rediscover their links to one another? Extremely violent rhetoric amplified by broadcast media always precedes violent acts. Nations, particularly multi-ethnic nations like the US, can disintegrate in months with a concentrated campaign of angry words against a particular group in the society: Yugoslavia, Rwanda … it took less than six months to foment civil war.
Hanging together, keeping the faith, solidarity … unity has been challenged by this new epoch of economic instability. Liberals are concerned but don’t risk their own security to help and Evangelicals go to Church but don’t risk talking to those who won’t pledge allegiance to their political faith. Neither side makes contact with one another.
Thousands of individual acts of solidarity grow into a social norm. On July 4, 2017, it is clear: the terrible rent in America’s social fabric can not be repaired without it.