Can US overcome social division this time?

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/17 23:08:39

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday disbanded two major business advisory councils, when a number of high-profile company chief executives quit after expressing their fury over his comments on the violence in Charlottesville at the weekend. The division of values in US society is deepening.

Until Thursday, Trump made statements four times about the Charlottesville violence, but with markedly different tones. He tried his best to mend social differences, but failed. Trump himself has been taken as a part of this clash of values, which will jeopardize his ability to lead the US out of this conflict.

From the perspective of Chinese society, the division of values in US society is striking. In the past few days, protesters in North Carolina toppled a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier during a rally against racism. The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized in Washington, DC.

Some Chinese people mocked this as an American "cultural revolution." This is more like a joke, but it reflects that today's US is abnormal in the eyes of Chinese.

The violence in Charlottesville is not a pure racial conflict, but a profound confrontation of values. One camp in the confrontation is all whites, while the other side includes people from all races. If such division and chaos took place in another Western country, it would deal it a heavy blow. The US is the very country in the Western world that can withstand all kinds of twists and turns.

But it is under certain conditions. In the 1960s and 1970s, racial conflicts were stretching out across the US. But the US was at the peak of its national strength. The unity to cope with challenges from the Soviet Union overwhelmed domestic divisions. The US was clear about its path and partisan struggles did not shake the consensus of mainstream society.

But nowadays, the slow changes in the global power structure have gradually crumbled the confidence of US society. While the people are not of one mind, the president is supposed to be the core to rebuild consensus. However, Trump seems to have become exactly where the conflicts start. No matter what he says about the Charlottesville violence, people are not buying it. This reflects the systematic defect of the US.

Chinese society does not indulge the expansion of social conflicts. China has always been cautious and kept a close eye on any social chaos from its initial stages. It has learned great lessons from its lengthy history and it spares no efforts to build social unity. China is wary of the limits of its social endurance and we prefer political stability and flexibility.

China and the US have two completely different cultures and systems. Both of them will encounter problems and then solve them. History will prove which system is more effective in a longer span of time and make the two complement each other.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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