Too Divided To Stand: Election 2020 & The Future of America


By E. Kyle Richey

As the days pass the world waits on the ballots to be counted with fraud investigations beginning, U.S. court handling disputes, and protestors marching in the streets for their cause or candidate (or both); the very legitimacy of the United States government along with the Media and Corporate America now all teeter in the balance. Whoever is elected now enters a more susceptible environment, one that may no longer be able to sustain favor of a wary public. Radicals now seek revenge regardless of who is in office. If Trump is reelected there stands a good chance that radical leftist elements will bring fire to the streets. Should Biden obtain the Presidency, it is uncertain if Trump supporters or even if President Trump himself will stand down; or if Biden himself is mentally up to the task, begging the question, under the assumption that Biden is elected, did half of America actually just elect America’s first black female president? All of these concerns are being asked. Emotions have peaked. Late Modernity’s perpetual state is here. It may be time to consider a different way forward by first stepping back.


On September 29, 2018 the following thesis statement was presented before professors at a university:

“Arising from identity-based ideologies, secular modern American colleges and universities have increasingly adopted identity politics into their institutional practices. This adoption has resulted in limited discourses and substantive debates between opposing ideological, philosophical, scientific, and theological systems and their claims. Such practices dilute knowledge which in turn reduces innovation, ideas, and the search for truth. Furthermore, identity-politics is beyond the walls of academia, influencing other public and private spheres. In the wake of these changes, a growing wave of opposition has formed, offering new ideas and possible solutions concerning identity politics. But are these solutions viable?”1

That was my thesis.

In October of 2018 I presented my theory (a model built for higher education in mind) called: “Collision at the Intersection of Ideas: The Crisis of Identity in Higher Education2

My argument was that identity-based politics or the ideological belief that a person’s identity whether based on race, gender, sex, age, or even areas of religion were becoming a point of irreconcilable contention within higher education to such a degree that it narrowed actual learning concerning facts, knowledge growth, and differing perspectives all at the determent of the core purpose that is higher learning. I defined Identity Politics from Francis Fukuyama’s book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment and a study by Marilynn B. Brewer titled, The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology (2001):

Individuals who, through their sense of identity, feel they are being alienated and demand recognition.3

To argue my thesis I had to present the structure of Identity Politics i.e. how it manifests in higher education, prove it existed within higher education, and present studies that demonstrated a conflict with the identity-based culture in colleges and universities (little did I grasp it was also in Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches at that point).

Using my definition of Identity Politics (IP) I proved actual mechanisms or tools within colleges that are utilized administratively by institutions of higher education including:

  • Social Justice & Equity
  • Hate Speech
  • Micro-Aggressions
  • Intersectionality
  • White Fragility
  • Trigger Warning’s
  • Sanctuary Campus
  • Safe Space
  • Phobias (e.g. Transphobia)
  • Sexism
  • Gender Pronouns

Along with studies that conflicted with the established narrative that universities hold as their position in opposition to other varying opinions (here are some examples I presented at the time):

Microaggressions and Victimhood Culture

Campbell, B., & Manning, J. (2014). Microaggression and moral cultures. Comparative sociology, 13, 692–726.

Campbell, B., & Manning, J. (2018). The rise of victimhood culture: Microaggressions, safe spaces, and the new culture wars. [No city]: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lewis, H. R. (2007). Excellence without a soul: Does liberal education have a future? New York, NY: PublicAffairs. Lilienfeld, S. O. (2017). Microaggressions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(1), 138–169.

Group Polorization & Identity

Cikara, M., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2014). The neuroscience of intergroup relations: An integrative review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(245).

Myers, D. G., & Lamm, H. (1976). The group polarization phenomenon. Psychological Bulletin, 83(4), 602-627.

Gender/Sex differences between Males and Females

Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66(3), 710–722.

Deaner, R. O., Balish, S. M., & Lombardo, M. P. (2016). Sex differences in sports interest and motivation: An evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 10(2), 73– 97.

LaFreniere, P. (2011). Evolutionary functions of social play: Life histories, sex differences, and emotion regulation. American Journal of Play, 3(4), 464–488.

Safe Spaces and Critical Thinking

Boostrom, Robert. (1998). ‘Safe spaces’: Reflections on an educational metaphor. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 30:4, 397-408. DOI: 10.1080/002202798183549

Barrett, Betty J. (2010) “Is “Safety” Dangerous? A Critical Examination of the Classroom as Safe Space,” The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: 1:1. DOI:

Even in 2018 I could see the intersection between higher education and the workplace or in politics, but I naively believed that Christian Institutions could safe guard themselves from IP.

Within my thesis I wanted to show two important factors at play within and outside of higher education:

1) A “Conflict of Visions” as explained by Thomas Sowell; a vision being “our sense of how the world works” as Sowell elaborates “Visions are the foundations on which theories are built… Visions are very subjective, but well-constructed theories have clear implications, and facts can test and measure their objective validity” (p. 4).4 From Sowell’s perspective, the place of conflict comes at the degree in which a vision is constrained or unconstrained; the more constrained a vision the less willing the society or group or person is to act on an issue of importance precisely because that action may result in a reverberation of consequences larger than the original issue. For example, ending a ban on gay marriage. An action of this kind, right or wrong, has consequences in relation to those who oppose gay marriage and are at conflict with other LGBTQ issues beyond just marriage. We see this contention between people of faith and a secular view in terms of rights. Without going into that debate, the unconstrained vision says that this is an act of justice; everyone should have the right to marry whomever they want in the name of love or some ethereal concept. A very real point of contention therefore exists between the two visions and neither vision is always right or wrong, rather Sowell demonstrates the need for logic and facts regardless of a constrained or unconstrained vision. Sowell recognizes the imperfection of reason itself as well along with the real emotional and psychological factors that come with these debates or visions of conflict. Nothing is perfect and that is the point by Sowell. There are no utopias, only gulags when a sect moves toward their utopian ideal which will eventually fail.

2) A collision concerning a conflict of visions had occurred; a collision at the intersection of ideas. Fundamental positions are now incapable of coexisting in a liberal democratic society because identity based politics that liberalism and capitalism, neoliberalism, successfully forged. The beginning decay of Liberalism started at the wake of postmodernism in the late 1940s after a disillusioned populace survived WW2 going into the 1950s with a lost sense of trust in human institutions and a desire for more in life. Old bonds, already decaying, were rupturing by the 1960s and onward. By the year 2000 society had reached a kind of peak as cultures became too convoluted and ideologies had heightened to such a degree that society, or my original focus higher education, was no longer capable of maintaining a real viability: the ability to live, grow, and develop outside an increasingly narrowing scope of indoctrination. Now I did not go as far as calling it indoctrination then, however, I maintained colleges have increasingly deduced arguments to a place of irreconcilable differences or a place of “Us vs Them” mentality.5 Conflict had become a wreckage; the ivory tower was now a rubble (a paper I wrote in the beginning of my program).6

Visions are the foundations on which theories are built… Visions are very subjective, but well-constructed theories have clear implications, and facts can test and measure their objective validity Thomas Sowell

By indoctrination I mean to suggest that institutions of higher learning, in order to preserve a status of legitimacy, had to follow and finally instill a progressive moral relativity that slowly influenced colleges which then exported those ideas back into general society. What I learned was that what happened in higher education was happening in the United States and throughout the west.

Today nearly every branch of government and workplace environment is subjected to a form of diversity, equity, and inclusion that goes beyond the boundaries of equality and merit and civil rights. Now a conflict exists to such a level that it slowly forced new convergences and divergences of groups; late modernity (1950 to the Present) was and remains a paradigm shift that now has liberal minded people either “moving” more toward the politically left or politically right; relgious beliefs are in the midst of a defragmentation as Christians and Atheists can more easily find themselves sharing similar social, political, and economic beliefs even though what roots them into their belief about abortion, gender, sex, or economics is not the same. Late modern society is rapidly diffusing but it won’t last forever because it is a paradigm shift, we are merely living in a point at which structures of authority, meaning, purpose, and legitimacy are all changing.

There are two layers concerning a principle of legitimacy as defined by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama: 1) “Legitimacy is not justice or right in an absolute sense; it is a relative concept that exists in people’s subjective perceptions” (p. 15)7 and 2) “A lack of legitimacy among the population as a whole does not spell a crisis of legitimacy for the regime unless it begins to infect the elites tied to the regime itself…” (p. 16).8 Fukuyama is directly speaking to strong-states, authoritarian states, in the latter point but the principle applies to a democratic society such as the United States.

All societies perform some kind of indoctrination in a general sense. But this was my first inklings of a radical leftist drive toward something entirely different than a “perspective” simply worth learning. No it was something much more. Prior to graduating it became clear that these beliefs aimed to throw Westernized, Christian believing, and anything considered “white” or “privileged” or “hateful” to the lions den. These were racist ideologs; Sowell’s worrisome quest-seeking Social Justice Warriors; Marxist at their core. That is not a political statement. These are real facts. Real people. Real radicals. However, after graduation it became readily apparent that QAnon conspiracies, the Alt-Right, Flat Earthers, and other far-right groups had left reality for an America that could be made great again if only they disperse “the enemy” at large.

Present Distrust

Totalitarian movements are possible wherever there are masses who for one reason or another have acquired the appetite for political organization. Masses are not held together by a consciousness of common interest and they lack that specific class articulateness which is expressed in determined, limited, and obtainable goals. The term masses applies only where we deal with people who either because of sheer numbers, or indifference, or a combination of both, cannot be integrated into any organization based on common interest, into political parties or municipal governments or professional organizations or trade unions. Potentially, they exist in every country and form the majority of those large numbers of neutral, politically indifferent people who never join a party and hardly ever go to the polls. — Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianisms (1951), p. 311

As it stands a vote for Biden or Trump, however unwilling the populace may have been in their desire to vote, represents a repudiation and judgment over the other. A Biden victory is a win against hate, racism, and evil Americanism; a Trump victory is a vanguard against Woke liberalism and Socialism. Neither the ardent supporter nor the wary voter can see past the conflicting viewpoints. They see only a necessary conflict; a good versus evil. Currently Trump voters fear voter fraud in Arizona, Michigan, and other battle ground states. Biden supporters see it has a necessary reckoning after Hillary and Gore. Speculation runs rampant as major news networks and social media censors information including providing their own fact-checking creating a narrative that spins further the chaos. All the while Covid-19 continually magnifies uncertainty. Life at the moment is an upward battle; a fog of present distrust hangs low. No one knows what to believe or why except they having an appetite for politics in the midst of difficult times. Arendt further states:

The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships. — Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianisms (1951), p. 317

Trends of loneliness, narcissism, nihilism, and fear have been rising for decades according to sociologist like Robert D. Putnam8 along with a great moral and economic bifurcation of White America as demonstrated by Charles Murray.9 America is divided and divided absolutely10 to the point it is frustrating institutions within the paradigm shift of power and authority. Rod Dreher sees the writing on the wall from his publication of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents to last night’s (November 5, 2020) blog article, A Divided Country:

Law and order is so fundamental to the conservative stance towards the world. Had the BLM protests not been violent, they would not have stoked the Right so much. This is something that progressives deeply need to understand. On the Right, it’s not reaction against racial justice protests; it’s reaction against violence, and the justification of the violence we heard from many on the Left in the media. Joe Biden’s criticism of the protesters did not ring true…

We are going to remain a divided country. The election solved nothing. The idea, though, that if only we could have gotten rid of Donald Trump, then things would heal, was always an absurd fantasy. We are a divided country because we have lost the core narratives that bound us: a shared Christian faith (however attenuated), and a shared commitment to the historical narrative of America as an imperfect country that always strives to make life better for the next generation than the one that came before it.

We can’t even agree on what America is for anymore.

A Viable Solution

The United States of America has a real solution to resolving the pressures at present, but it comes at the cost of surrendering (a virtue few have) at at time when surrender appears as defeat. It is a mechanism designed within the very fabric of American Constitutionalism. We risk balkanization or greater tyranny if we fail to make this decision. American’s who wish to protect liberty and freedom no matter their political or religious beliefs must re-embrace a Strong Federalism.

Returning power back to the States so much power in fact that the Federal government is paralyzed from enforcing further legal decisions on the states as it has been in the last one hundred years. Believe in high taxes, enormous regulations, and progressive laws? Move to California, Oregon, New York, or Washington state. Let states decide nearly every aspect of life, make their Constitutions have meaning and purpose again. Take elections away from the national pull that desires a single leader, a hero of hope and change. America must loosen its grip by giving power and authority back to the states at the cost of ripping out the cords of a broken federal government and it’s deep state.

Next Time: A Return to Strong Federalism: A Historical and Philosophical Argument for the States


1 Richey, Edward K. 23 September 2018. Collision At the Intersection of Ideas: The Crisis of Identity in Higher Education. Thesis. University of Texas San Antonio.

2 Ibid. Presentation.

3 Brewer, M. (2001). The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology. Political Psychology, 22(1), 115-125. Retrieved November 6, 2020, from

4 Sowell, Thomas. 2007. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. NY: Basic Books.

5 Lukianoff, Greg., Haidt, Jonathan. (2018). The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure. New York, NY: Penguin Press.

6 Richey, Edward K. 6 December 2017. An Ivory Rubble: Postmodernism & The Collapse of the Modern University and its Impact on Society. University of Texas San Antonio.

7 Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The End of History and The Last Man. NY: The Free Press

8 Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. NY: Simon & Schuster

9 Murray, Charles. 2013. Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. NY: Crown Publishing

10 French, David. 2020. Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. NY: St. Martin’s Press

The Voices of the Silenced

(November Issue 2020)

These are only a few voices of men and women; black, white, brown; poor and rich; democrat and republican… who are too afraid because they fear losing their jobs and livelihood to the radical left who are in their environment…

“Ever since the Black Lives Matters movement really took off in 2020 with the riots since the latest cop shooting incidents our corporate office now makes us hold each week “talks” where they say it is to open discussion about race and unity but really all they tell us is that it is the fault of white people. We are the problem. That we must submit. Now they send us diversity, equity, and inclusion videos to watch, again pushing only one of a much more complicated message. Worse yet, recently our VP heard from marketing about a guy commenting on my Linkedin concerning a post about “Mater Data Management” that we should no longer be using that kind of terminology. I told my VP that was not necessary as it was a term used in the industry and the word has the meaning of highly skilled etc but it did not matter. Now they are going to change it. Just like “Master Bedroom” to “Primary Bedroom” etc etc… So BLM and left liberal want to destroy and erase history and our country while using that same history for their own agenda.” (Manager to a multinational corporation)

Recently our VP heard from marketing about a guy commenting on my Linkedin concerning a post about “Mater Data Management” that we should no longer be using that kind of terminology.

“I am a doctor and a Muslim living in Pennsylvania. I practice Internal Medicine. And now in our hospital I can no longer assume a persons gender. I must ask what is their preferred gender pronoun and if I fail to do so I can lose my job. A biological male can redefine themselves as a female, even though it is false, and I can say nothing more about it.” (Doctor)

I must ask what is their preferred gender pronoun and if I fail to do so I can lose my job.

“Working at a hospital, it is honestly one of the worse places, huge risk in terms of infection and sickness. There is little sleep, slippery floors, endless rules, loud environments, over worked nurses, understaffed facilities, bad food (at least where I work)… endless. Now they make us go through copious amounts of “diversity training” no it is anti-racist training that makes white people guilty. Everything is stressful and I just do therapy work! Corporations, higher education, hospitals… they all now push this social justice on us.” (Therapy worker)

Corporations, higher education, hospitals… they all now push this social justice on us

“I am in the military and afraid to say much except that since BLM we receive endless amounts of “diversity” training but it is all propaganda. Everything is about how the white, heterosexual male is the worse person on earth. It is terrible.” (Soldier in the Army)

I am in the military and afraid to say much except that since BLM we receive endless amounts of “diversity” training but it is all propaganda.

Mob Rule, Mob Rules 2020: Part 1

(A Special Report Series)

For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all… 

— Aristotle, Politics, p. 4

To Mask or Not to Mask Isn’t The Question

Recently the fight over wearing face masks has taken a volatile turn in the United States and parts of Europe.1,2 By no means is this an attempt to defend a specific position concerning the wearing of or not wearing of masks. One should wear a mask when appropriate, but failing to grasp the ramifications over what masks and other compliances mean short-term and long-term concerning societal wellbeing, beyond the fight against the virus itself, is a fair question.

Significant social cues have abruptly ended along with the daily habits of millions due to Covid-19. Tensions are high causing emotional distress. Asking questions concerning social distancing, medical freedom, individual rights, child development, and elderly care are all pertinent. Sudden changes that turn into months and now possibly years has already had an impact on the human psyche that requires consideration.,, 3,4,5  

Not to imply a slippery slope, though some slopes are truly slippery, however the lifeblood of an open society is the ability for individuals to question and consider issues publicly without the fear of harm. Present circumstances have eroded public discourses into a narrow funnel. Under that erosion lies a far deeper issue of cultural and political dismembering.

Dysphoria has nestled itself at the hight of an incoming election, riots, international upheaval, and Covid-19. Disconcerting is the apparent failure of societal coping skills between individuals and their differences of opinion in a time of crisis.

Magnifying societal woes is group polarization6 caused by identity politics7,8, pertinent to both political spectrums (left and right)9,10, that are now spilling over into seemingly normative and moral behaviors. Human identity—race, sex, gender, age, and even religious beliefs—has become poignant in the political arena. In direct relation to the political upheaval, individuals failing to wear a mask or disagreeing with a specific consensus relating to Covid-19 are being treated as a threat to the community at large. These individuals are automatically grouped as racist Trump supporters. Alternatively people who heed the advice of authorities are grouped as socialist liberals or subservient to a larger conspiracy. No one seems capable of escaping the madness.

While the virus is of serious concern it is the brittle polarized environment that has been intensified due to the virus not the opposite. Plagues, economic downturns, and natural disasters have historically influenced events outside their immediate danger. Covid-19 is nature’s latest case affecting political fracturing. 

Take for example a video that appeared on the internet of a man in Florida at a Costco’s.11 In the video the white male in question is seen wrongfully screaming at an elderly woman who demanded that the man put on a mask. All of which was recorded by a second individual who ironically seeks to remain anonymous but posted the video on their Twitter account (now private). That anonymous individual video was discovered by the filmmaker Billy Corben. Corben then reposted the video on Twitter for millions to watch. Shaun King, a writer and Black Lives Matter activist, took attention to the Twitter post via Facebook demanding for the name and whereabouts of the man’s job along with these comments12

A grown conservative man-baby FLIPS OUT on an elderly woman working at Costco in Fort Myers, Florida because he was asked to wear a mask. 

1. The coronavirus is now SOARING in Florida. 41 ICU’s there are now at maximum capacity. 

2. What he’s doing, yelling with his mouth wide open is literally how it spreads. 

3. That shirt he has on, “running the world since 1776” is popular in white supremacists circles. 

4. For all the talk that conservatives have about how sensitive liberals are, NOBODY flips out easier than conservatives. 

5. This man might be on steroids.

To be clear, I do not know Shaun King, Billy Corben, or those involved in the video but I do believe that with much power, comes much responsibility. A principle that applies to everyone. Yelling at the elderly woman was unequivocally wrong, but equally wrong was the anonymous individual posting the incident for all to see, Croben reposting the video for millions to watch, and King inappropriately went after the man and his livelihood. Abuse of power is never an exception to the rule. People make honest mistakes and in these times there will be plenty. Yes, actions do have consequences, however, mob rule is not justice but thuggery. 

Enhanced by an unfortunate abuse of technology, Cancel Culture as it is appropriately termed, perverts past wrongs into perpetual guilt, a guilt that oftentimes needs to be kept private not made public. Failing to forgive and forget are redemptive qualities that Cancel Culture subverts. How a person uses technology against another individual matters. A simple photo can be taken out of context. Or in this case a video was used to go after a man by the rule and rules of the masses. 

My criticism is not a judgement of King’s or Corben’s character but a firm reminder to any authority wielding power over those who have little can quickly turn into an abuse of power. Furthermore when mobs rule the day, bending the rules to their will, a free society suffers. The man in the video lost his job all the while publicly ridiculed and dehumanized. When did the American Revolution of 1776 became a white supremacist roll call? And King under no circumstance knew the man in question yet assumed he was a conservative then proceeded to treat all conservatives as the same. 

There was once a fine line in American politics between constructive differences of opinion versus personal threats. Now the quest for Identity has produced a warring atmosphere that erased such distinctions. A Us vs Them13 collective mentality rules the day. Hopefully the man apologized yet sadly he learned his lesson at a great unnecessary cost. And it should go without saying but I hope that the elderly woman is doing well.

Mob rule means a collective identity group must win. Mob rules serve the interests of that collective. Liberty and her institutions are being tested by this eruptive behavior, serving as a reminder that when pure rage is the predicate for judgement, tyranny is never far behind. What comes next will be decided by the public will for civility or lack thereof. Humanity itself may not only end up alone but alone with no way out.

Coming up Part 2: Mob Mentality and the Presidency of Donald Trump


1 Aratani, Lauren. (2020, June 29). How did face masks become a political issue in America? The Guardian.

2 BBC. (2020, August 1). Coronavirus: Thousands protest in Germany against restrictions. BBC World News. 

3 Dubey, S., Biswas, P., Ghosh, R., Chatterjee, S., Dubey, M. J., Chatterjee, S., Lahiri, D., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Psychosocial impact of COVID-19. Diabetes & metabolic syndrome14(5), 779–788. Advance online publication. (

4 Cao, W., Fang, Z., Hou, G., Han, M., Xu, X., Dong, J., & Zheng, J. (2020). The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry research287, 112934. (

5 Lorenzo Moccia, Delfina Janiri, Maria Pepe, Luigi Dattoli, Marzia Molinaro, Valentina De Martin, Daniela Chieffo, Luigi Janiri, Andrea Fiorillo, Gabriele Sani, Marco Di Nicola,Affective temperament, attachment style, and the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak: an early report on the Italian general population, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 87, 2020, Pages 75-79, ISSN 0889-1591, (

6 Sunstein, Cass. (2009). Going to Extreme: How Like Minds Unite and Divide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

7 Brewer, M. (2001). The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Psychology. Political Psychology, 22(1), 115-125. 3791908 

8 Fukuyama, Francis. (2018). Identity: The Demand For Dignity and The Politics of Resentment. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Guroux. 

9 Baysal, Nur. (2018). Reject the identity politics of the alt-Right and the control-Left. Foundation for Economic Education. politics-of-the-alt-right-and-the-control-left/ 

10 Hawley, George. (2018). The Demography of the Alt-Right. Institute for Family Studies. 

11 Griffith, Janelle. (2020, July 8). ‘I feel threatened’: Unmasked Florida man’s viral Costco outburst cost him his job. NBC News.

12 King, Shaun. (2020, July 7). Please tell me this man’s name. Today. Where does he work? [Video attached] [Status post]. Facebook.

13 Lukianoff, Greg., Haidt, Jonathan. (2018). The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure. New York, NY: Penguin Press.