Opinion: The biggest problem is us.

Adam Smith
3 min readApr 2, 2021
Source: Healing a Fractured Nation

If we’ve learned anything in 2020 it’s that we all need someone to blame for EVERY problem. It doesn’t matter what “side” you’re on, if you’re liberal or conservative, black or white, Christian or Atheist. We all do it. Especially me.

We’re all guilty of it, nobody is exempt.

And perhaps that’s what most people keep trying to forget. That’s why we have vices. It’s why we drink, smoke and spend our paychecks to keep ourselves constantly entertained, constantly distracted.

Nobody wants to think about what they might be doing wrong.

Nobody has the time to think.

Not since we rushed people back to work as soon as we could during a pandemic. Not since people realized how fragile our system really is…

What does this have to do with our problem though?

Well, what happened during Covid? Do you remember? As millions of people became suddenly unemployed, grocery stores emptied their shelves and healthcare became a universal necessity people began focusing their frustrations onto whoever they could. Dr.Fauci. Trump. China. Everywhere but the foundations of our own society. The leaky pipes we held together with tape were once again ignored…things like universal healthcare, or income, workers rights, “essential worker” pay. Funny how the more we reopened the country the faster we chose to forget how the lowest paid workers were the most necessary to keep society running. Restaurant workers, gas station clerks, grocers, truckers, cable techs, vets etc.

We would like to forget how close our society came to collapsing because it’s unpleasant to think about. We want to move on with our lives and believe everything is okay, that Covid will just be another mark on our timeline and drift into a distant memory.

How very selfish we are.

We are tied to a life of predictable misery. I imagine many people don’t believe life is great right now, even as I’m writing this. Not only do we still have Covid lurking with different variants but domestic terror threats as well. Mass shootings and hate crimes are already on the rise once more which could be argued as a return to normalcy. Free healthcare related to Covid-19 will disappear when the virus does, along with unemployment extensions. We know it’s not great but it’s what we know. We’re use to random slaughter and minimal government welfare, the predictable misery. Both more signs we’re headed for the end. Not of the pandemic.

Of the American way.

Though if we’re being honest we’ve been headed away from that for a very long time. America had its blunders and mistakes, yet the people learned from them I always thought.

Clearly I was wrong. We haven’t learned a thing. Because we don’t care how bad things get as long as we’re entertained long enough to forget about ‘em.

We can hide on our respective political sides and talk trash about the others, blaming them for all our problems. As we slowly isolate ourselves into our own groups we further the divide between our perspectives and understandings. It isn’t sustainable. Without dialogue and a dedicated effort to understand one another, without being able to admit that we’re all guilty of passing our blame onto others, we will never progress.

Our lives are not story narratives, nobody is the good guy because there is no bad guy. We’re all just searching for excuses to use while we drift through space figuring out how to pass time…so learn something new and speak honestly with those you disagree with. Take criticism. And maybe we’ll stop spinning our wheels in the mud and finally be able to build something new.

Now I’ll leave you with this question;

If this rambling of mine has any truth to it and the problem truly is us, our desire to be entertained over our need for progressive action, would self-inspection cure our divided nation? The realization that we are all ignorant, terrified, frustrated people who should spend more time understanding each other than pointing fingers, would that not be better than a return to what was “normal” and waiting for our next 2020?



Adam Smith

Communications graduate; Opinion news commentator; Climate and Mental health advocate.