On June 17, 2015 the real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump announced that he was officially running to become the president of the United States. Throughout his campaign he promised to "Make America Great Again." The slogan suggested that there was a time in the past when America was great and we must return to it. Mr. Trump's words validated a cultural divide that many Americans chose to deny existed. In our desire to be post-racial and post-sexist we ignored a deep cultural divide.
President Obama's health care bill, made health care available to many citizens who previous did not have it. Mr. Obama used an executive order in an effort to help undocumented immigrants have a path to citizenship. The Black Lives Matter movement forced Americans to question law enforcement's use of force when dealing with African Americans. Last year the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and many LGBTQ couples celebrated. Hillary Clinton became the first women in America's history to become the presidential nominee of a major party. While some Americans found value in these cultural shifts, there were others who did not and Mr. Trump voiced their frustration.
Evangelicals and working class white citizens were watching their country change and they did not like it. Frustrations began to rise as some saw their health care premiums increase. Residents of Border States became frustrated with a rising immigrant population. Feeling devalued, many began to say All Lives Matter in response to the outcries that Black Lives Matter. Evangelicals felt that a liberal Supreme Court would continue to weaken the morals of the country. Some males could not bear seeing a female as our next president. Mr. Trump's slogan to "Make America Great Again" gave rise to nostalgia for better days when Evangelicals and white work class citizens felt powerful. Forward or backward, a dividing line was drawn and Americans chose the later.
America's states may be united but the people are divided. In order for America to be great much work will have to be done to bridge an ever-growing divide. It is my hope that Mr. Trump will not continue to stoke the flames of racism, sexism and bigotry but as president he'll set us on the path to greatness that all Americans can enjoy.
The Rev. Marquez Ball