Before the election of Barack Obama, the United States of America was politically divided. One of the factors increasing political division in 2009 was a rising conflict between republicans and democrats, the figure of Obama as a presidential candidate had only fueled the disagreement. Secondly, many republicans were openly against Obama, because in their eyes he did not reflect the highest aspirations of the United States Society, which increased the political division even more (“America’s Great Divide”). Lastly, the bipartisan movement in congress worsened the situation, as the politicians were not open to the consensus and working together for the greater good of the country. The political situation before the 2009 election ultimately divided the parties with their contradicting views and enhanced with such a conflicting candidate as Barack Obama.
Sarah Palin was an independent candidate for the presidential elections in 2009. She was distinctive from others by her radical views towards the American media. An incident with Palin during an interview for one of the news channels raised Republicans’ attention and consequently took Palin’s side. Republicans stated that reporters were inadequately trying to jeopardize her political career. The similar views on the media hatred helped Palin rally the republicans onto her side. Even though republican’s representatives McCain and Palin’s rates would not prevail, the populist fervor would grow in their favor (“America’s Great Divide”). Palin was also known for her loud statements on social media, she frequently put up untruthful posts about politics and conspiracies around the parliamentary system. Trump followed her lead and built up his electorate with his famous Twitter account. Donald Trump took on Palin’s strategy and focused on providing his audience with his version of media.
Stepping into the new position of a President, Barack Obama faced one of the biggest financial crises in US history. The American economy experienced larger declines than during the Great Depression. The new president tried to take cautious actions and find common ground with the bankers, which turned out to be a strategical mistake (“America’s Great Divide”). The stock market was collapsing, the government spent trillion dollars attempting to get Wall Street back on track, moreover, the unemployment rate was rising, as well as foreclosure, and the middle-class was furious. Citizens demanded punishment for the banking system; however, Obama was not ready for such actions. On these grounds, the republicans created The Tea Party – as a statement against the president for siding with the rich and powerful, neglecting the middle-class.
The “birtherism” movement started with Obama’s opponent’s suspicions about his place of birth not being the USA. Trump, as a known conspiracy theorist, supported “birtherism” and took the lead, accusing Obama of not being an eligible president on media platforms. After the president provided his birth certificates confirming his heritage, he took revenge on Trump at “The Correspondents Dinner”. During the speech, Obama confronted Trump and told him to return to meaningful issues like conspiracies (“America’s Great Divide”). The sarcastic jokes kept going, Trump was so furious at the end of the event he decided to get the ultimate revenge. At the next elections, Trump promoted Romney’s candidacy for the presidency post as a way of getting revenge, and lead an open nativist campaign against Barack Obama. However, winning the 2016 election was Trump’s way of showing that he is capable of anything.
Obamacare turned from a progressive medical reform into a significant liability for democrats. ACA left people with no choice of the health provider and increased their spendings on medical bills (“America’s Great Divide”). Obamacare has never been sustainable and caused a lot of trouble for the democrats. The conservative media were leaders in the open attacks on the president. News channels like FOX would come up with all kinds of allegations and accusations about Obama, which hurt his reputation. The conservative media were aggressively oriented towards Barack Obama, where Trump played a significant role in implementing it, as the owner of several prominent media outlets.
The Republican Party divided after the 2012 election taking two sides about the immigration issue. One-half of the radicals have taken a softer approach and reconsidered their extremist views; however, the other half has only increased their fight with the foreigners. A chief strategist Bannon decided to imply the strategy of taking down Eric Cantor, who was the leading spokesperson in terms of immigration issues, which allowed the radicals to kill the Bipartisan immigration reform (“America’s Great Divide”). Consequently, the Republican Party became centered on racial and ethical fueled grievances with immigration at the center.
Trump’s strategy reflected the views and concerns about the problem of most white working-class citizens. He is channeling the viewpoints of the majority of Republican voters with his immigration movement (“America’s Great Divide”). His proposals of restricting immigration, building the wall, and creating jobs for the infrastructure renewal influenced the voters and enhanced their exciting subjective opinion. Trump is frequently compared to former President Reagan; however, there are some disparities in their characters. Trump has significantly different communication methods, and he puts focus that only he can “Make America Great Again” when Reagan was oriented on joint efforts. Trump is known for his loud statements and personal opinions, he could turn a personal page into his media in a way, which frees him from disrespecting other independent media.
The pandemic showed a clear political division when the virus affected mostly urban areas rather than rural. Nevertheless, covid-19 more often affects people of color. Such a social divide affects politics, and the Democratic vote is currently raising (Elving 2020). The situation may be resolved only by the pandemic decrease and its full control.
“America’s Great Divide, Part 1 (full film) | FRONTLINE”. YouTube, uploaded by FRONTLINE PBS Official, 2020, Web.
Elving, Ron. “What Coronavirus Exposes About America’s Political Divide.” NPR, 2020, Web.