Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol as the Congress works to certify the electoral college votes. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
Brentwood School

Opinion: Our country is more divided than united

It was just an ordinary day. Cruising down the street to get my daily dose of coffee and listening to my favorite morning music. As I reached a red light, I impatiently gazed out the window of my car, desperately trying to distract myself from the headache that was now throbbing my forehead due to lack of caffeine.

My eyes scanned over all of the families crossing the street, dogs playing in the grass and people holding hands. But then something else caught my eye.

As tall as a skyscraper, it billowed over me. It was a neutral white color, yet once it came into my vision I couldn’t help but continue to stare. American flags surrounded it in a uniform circle, whipping back and forth in the breeze. No matter how long I looked at it, I couldn’t pry myself away.

Honk! Luckily for me, the line of impatient traffic behind forced me to do just that. Otherwise, I would probably continue to stare all day.

This was the first time I ever saw the Washington Monument. Growing up as an American during this time has made me recognize how increasingly difficult it has become to recall a time when our country has truly been unified. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly obvious that our country has been struggling to reunite as one.

Furthermore, relationships have been facing more strain than ever due to differences in political beliefs. When I looked at the Washington Monument, I felt proud to be an American, a feeling I had forgotten existed for a long time.

The Washington Monument is more than just a unique piece of architecture in the capitol of our nation. This monument commemorates George Washington, our first U.S. President. Also, it marks the beginning of our time as a country.

It’s impossible to expect that every American in the United States is going to adopt the same views and political opinions. The fact that we are all different and hold vast outlooks on a majority of things is what makes our country so unique!

Although, it is important to recognize the fact that there is a big difference between embracing our differences and being divided. Despite the fact that seeing the Washington Monument reminded me of how special our country really is, it was not enough to leave a lasting feeling of pride.

Instead, after being introduced to one of the most famous monuments in our country, I was reminded of the great divide we are facing. I think that in order for our country to find unification and become one big community again, we need to respect each other’s opinions and support one another rather than bringing each other down.

This morning, as I flipped on news, I was shocked to see something you typically only hear about in movies or TV shows. The U.S. Capitol faced lockdown after being stormed by protestors. This happened shortly after the news broke that President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college votes were certified.

According to CNN, as the protestors successfully broke into the building and those inside were evacuated, chaos continued to unfold. 

A CNN article reads, “Flash bangs could be heard near the steps of the Capitol as smoke filled the air. In some instances, officers could be seen deploying pepper spray. Tear gas has been deployed, but it’s not clear whether by protesters or police, and people wiped tears from their eyes while coughing.”

Furthermore, Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican challenging Biden’s victory shared his thoughts on this catastrophe.

“Violence is always unacceptable. Even when passions run high. Anyone engaged in violence — especially against law enforcement — should be fully prosecuted,” Cruz tweeted

This scenario illuminates the true issue that is occurring in our country right now: Division. We need to unite, rather than abuse each other and express our disagreements through violence. There are better ways to address this situation. As a country, we can do better. The time for us to put a stop to this division and these reckless actions has been far overdue.