We’re Not All In This Together

America is currently caught up in tunnel vision with battles inside communities and states between those who want freedom from governor’s lockdown orders and the increasingly non-functioning political system. Add to all of this, conspiracy theories now thrive as perhaps rightly they should today when the official narrative to the world is challenged more and more. Each day seems to bring a new theory to explain all of this. Wise people in white lab coats talk to us each day from major universities of the nation. More often than not, they have contradictory viewpoints on the origin, virulence and evolution of the virus. All news seems to possess two sides of a medical (and of course) political debate today.

But still, there are warm and fuzz commercials constantly on television telling us with pastel backgrounds that “We’re all in this together.” Commercials show the workers at Amazon or Northern Quilt toilet paper working on that “front line” to keep things going. Things might be going but the populace is not going. Famous athletes and celebrities give selfie messages to us. The form of communication these days is via selfie videos. I recall a funny post from the satirical publication The Babylon Bee. (It has replaced the old Onion as offering the best satire on current news.) The headline was “Inspiring: Celebrities Spell Out ‘We’re All in This Together’ With Their Yachts.” Underneath this was a photo of a number of large yachts spelling “We’re All in This Together.”

The “All in This Together” meme is almost chanted at the daily population by media on a daily basis. So much to suspect that if they shut down the chant long enough, the populace might start to consider that “We’re All Not in This Together.” The yachts in The Babylon Bee photo below go to an extreme to point out the true reality of the situation.

Yachts Spell Out A Constant Meme  / The Babylon Bee

Of course, the two major sides of this grand battle is what the media is totally silent on. The sides consist of the two groups of employees in the nation: those employed by private industry and those employed by government. It is interesting how the “We’re All in This Together” phrase has been tested and tossed out in a number of locations around the nation. Often tied to particular states. Or sometimes, particular cities. The major conflict in the two types of employees in America is that a large group are employees of the government while the other large group in culture is employed by private industry.

An Unseen Division

One of the insights for me that has come out of this whole pandemic is to see that these are really two great groups in the nation. These groups are perhaps even more important than Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative labels. In many ways they match the political labels. Yet in other ways, they are different. It is the division between those who are employees of the Government (or employed by an organization heavily related government) and employees who are employees of Private Industry.

The political labels don’t always match though. There are many Democrats employed by private industry and certainly many Republicans employed by government. Yet even with crossovers, these two major groups of employees in America might be that great elephant in the room for many years. The groups were so large, we never were able to see them.

Paradoxical New Messaging

The current situation is about just this to a large extent. The two groups of employees create a modern, political, elephant in the room. Observing that there might exist this major fault defining the nation has been a taboo topic for all media it seems. There has been hardly any mention that a “faultline” in the populace exists. A natural one between the two types of employees and employers: the government employer and employee; the private industry employee or employer.

New Political Dynamics

It has taken the pandemic to make the private industry group begin to feel their power and wake up as a new political group perhaps. Certainly, a powerful symbolism is present in the current scenario in the battle between those who want to continue with a lock-down of the economy and those who want to open up the economy. The battle has been between those who have been subsidized by their employer, the government … and those who have not been subsidized by their employer private industry. It’s surprising yet instructive on how similar the red and blue political map of the nation is to the map of states wanting to open and those that want to remain shut-down.

An Onslaught of Celebrity Isolation Videos

In the upcoming return to business, it seems important that private industry attempt to speak with one voice by wrangling in all the little niche groups and other tributaries promoting aspects of private business. The goal was to realize the new division – made clear during the pandemic via the constant advertising phrase “We’re all in this together.” With the constant repetition of this phrase through all media and theme given as a sub-headline to any mention of the virus. The phrase made me, and I think millions of my fellow Americans realize that there is a new perspective for viewing the incredible division in American culture.

Rise of State Power

Interestingly, state’s rights have always been part of conservative ideology and used to assert freedom from government control. Now, states use this power to control citizens rather than give them freedom. Now, a little over two months into the virus, governors are asserting this conservative ideology to limit freedom and there is little the federal government has been able to do. It is a new alignment. So far, federal power has little power against mandates from state governors.

The result is a patchwork of wildly different regulations around the nation. There is little “united” in the states responses for moving into the future with states operating as a collection of confederacies rather than parts of the same nation. As states confront the virus in different ways with differing mandates and laws, we bombarded with continuous TV commercials advertising the meme “We’re all in this together.”

Nancy Pelosi Shows Us Her Lockdown Stash of Ice Cream

No, we are not in this all together. Citizens of different states have different rights and freedoms. And, employees of different employers are affected in vastly different ways. Employees of private industry have lost jobs while government employees have maintained their jobs and salaries. And, it is important to note that small business owners make up 80% of private industry. Many of these small businesses have been permanently destroyed.

The early response to the virus might have had elements of the nation being all together. But the effects of the virus have shown a powerful new light into this divide between private and public employees. Whether new political alignments will come from these divisions remains to be seen.





3 thoughts on “We’re Not All In This Together

  1. Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing this very thoughtful observation. It appears that the cure is now worse than the pandemic.

    The insanity of some of the decisions by various Governors is hard to belleve.

    Well done.

    Laudate Deum,


  2. For a number of years now, I have had difficulty accepting the idea that politics was a “science”, as in Political Science. Now with the advent of such things as man-mad Global Warming and the governmental handling of COVID-19, I now have a greater difficulty in seeing “science” as much of anything BUT politics! “Yes Virginia, there really is a “POLITICAL science”.

  3. Excellent article. I hate hypocrisy, but I have to confess that now I’m wondering what $12/pint ice cream tastes like.

    Thanks for sharing.

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