We Americans have decided to respond to the last few crises separately.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that meant shoving aside those who’d committed themselves to seeing the American people through the battle between Middle Eastern extremists determined to use terrorist attacks to provoke a war they could use to restructure that region, and elevating people who just didn’t realize if there was any danger they could pull it off.

When confronted by foreign meddling in our affairs, that meant dividing ourselves into those who would acknowledge the evidence that showed how it was done (and that it was ongoing), and those who believed that meddling was harmless because Americans embraced the kind of conspiracy theories they spread anyway.

And through COVID it has meant dividing ourselves into those who would do everything in their power to prevent the spread of that virus to preserve life, and those who would pretend the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

I don’t think any of that has made us stronger. On the contrary, I’d say it’s pretty clear we’ve done the dividing one might expect an enemy would pursue if committed to a “divide and conquer” approach to speed along our demise. It doesn’t frighten me to say that’s true because what’s done is done and all we can do from here is respond to the need that exists now.

And that only entails moving a little closer, allowing our emotions to settle, and moving forward together. It’s really no big deal.

Jamie Beaulieu, Farmington

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