Letter: Are we a nation divided, or a nation manipulated?

This letter is by Lynn James Edmunds, of Wallingford.

After five years of attempting to understand the structure that allows dysfunction of our governance, Clif High’s video caught my attention because his explanation makes a great deal of sense.

Most seem to accept the premise that we are a nation of divided people. But my life experience tells me this is a false premonition designed to gin up conflict. My contention is when we pursue politics as usual rather than seeking the true nature of our presumed great divide, something must be invisible.

Last week, in a letter published at TNR, I shared Clif’s “Rabbit Hole” in hopes of revealing evidence that we are not as divided as some would have us believe. It is so easy to point fingers at each other or accuse the opposing political party for our failure to see the reasons contributing to our conflict, not realizing we are being played against each other. However, the blame game only makes us oblivious to our greatest invisible weaknesses.

I believe we need to help each other manifest change through understanding how easily we might be controlled without even realizing it. Knowing how to identify the tools that divide us is key to being able to work together successfully for our common good.

It is so tempting to focus on issues presented to us each and every day; they establish the drama for the next crisis. Yet one of the primary reasons for our divisiveness is agendas are chosen for us rather than by us.

It’s really all about good people caught in a captured system, not fully understanding how or who is manipulating them. Until we create an accurate and collective awareness of how division is engineered, nothing will free us from a captured state of indentured manipulation.

Yes, ultimately there is an enemy not easily visible, quite possibly someone you never heard of, or even someone you thought was an ally. Perhaps seeing the invisible requires looking through a different lens.  And although it has taken me a lifetime, I am finally beginning to see with more clarity what I could not only five years ago.

Lynn James Edmunds
Wallingford, Vermont

Image courtesy of Public domain

10 thoughts on “Letter: Are we a nation divided, or a nation manipulated?

  1. This is nothing new. Everyone should read James Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 on factions, and #51 on the balance of power. It describes a basic human construct, sometimes called tribalism, that is in our human nature. It also addresses how we can coexist under these circumstances.

    And I sincerely hope we don’t throw our constitutional baby out with Clif High’s bathwater. Our Constitution, which effectively enables our ‘free market system’, while protecting the rights of the individual, is the most elegant form of governance ever contrived by human beings. If anyone doesn’t believe this, show us a working, better performing alternative, imagined or existing.

    Is our Constitutional Republic perfect? Very nearly. Are the human beings that make up our Republic perfect? No.

    So, what are we; divided, manipulated, controlled, or confused? Answer: all of the above. And what a wonderful state of affairs that is – especially when compared to the alternatives.

    Benjamin Franklin explained that we have a Republic “if we can keep it”. That it “can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

    In other words, it’s up to us. We elect our representatives. We determine our fate. Which brings me to Milton Friedman’s wisdom.

    “The key insight of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is misleadingly simple: if an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

    And this:

    “The great virtue of a free-market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

    Again, Franklin’s foresight.

    “I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats.”

    So far, so good. Vote in November for those who espouse these sentiments. Keep our Republic. If we are, indeed, corrupt, we have only ourselves to blame.

  2. It is my opinion that much if not most of the contemporary crises have been created by the media. Our responsibility as individuals is to recognize the extent to which we are influenced. If you/we/they are unable to do this, then the situation will go on and on.

  3. Are we a nation divided, or a nation manipulated?

    We are both, we are being manipulated to be divided, to push an agenda, and to
    try and disband the Constitution our Law of the land giving us the freedoms we all
    enjoy, something no other country has and they want it gone so they need to divide
    & manipulate, it’s all by design !!

    • Part of the ‘playbook’ may be defined as any number of manipulations; markets, minds, mandates, etc. In the end, it’s about people rising up, because they’re fed up; where they are willing to risk their lives/livelihoods to resurrect a sense of agency/decency. And once that powder keg goes off, most Americans will fight, because it’s in our blood; foreign invaders beware.

  4. Lynn, that video you linked to is very interesting.

    Thanks for re-posting. Please help us keep this on our radar, what with so much else happening today.


  5. Liberals are all about creating fear…it goes back hundreds of years ago to Italian historian, Machiavelli…it repeats now with ALL that Liberals, Dems, Progressive are doing….divison & fear creates THEIR power”

    “Machiavelli’s historical observation that “whoever controls the people’s fears becomes master of their souls.” The formula for achieving such mastery has not changed in millennia: stoke any fear, turn the fear to hate of whomever and whatever you accuse of standing in the way of safety, and make yourself the agent of that hate.
    The formula works when its dynamic embeds itself in the masses’ behavior—even when the master himself is the one to be feared. That is because stampeding humans readily give up their souls and become no more mindful of their own interest than steers. Hence, whoever manages to madden crowds while directing their hysteria onto his enemies stands to reap power.”

  6. I was thinking from the title, who wrote this?

    Well done again Lynn, we are being played.

    The $64,000 question is does our local leadership know the games or are they completely ignorant? The whole point is to keep us divided, brother hating brother, Thanksgiving family fights, young against old, man against woman, with this fighting we are easily manipulated with hatred and we never reach peace, tranquility a nation standing together.

    And who would benefit from this? The uniparty, aka, nwo, builld back better globalists,

    losers, environment, people, countries and our souls.

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