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July 14th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Bill Clinton: America becoming more divided

 Former President Bill Clinton addresses the National Governors Association.
Former President Bill Clinton addresses the National Governors Association.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President Bill Clinton has a warning for all of us: he says this country is becoming more and more divided.

Speaking to the National Governors Association, Clinton said that even though the Democratic primary produced historic results with the final candidates being a woman, his wife, and an African-American man, he still sees a larger problem.

Clinton believes Americans are becoming more polarized as a nation. He says we're growing farther apart from each other and are "hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference." Clinton says Americans are separating themselves by choosing to live with people they agree with.

He used ideas from a book called "The Big Sort" by Bill Bishop for this speech. Bishop found that in the 1976 election, only 20% of U.S. counties voted for Jimmy Carter or President Ford by more than a 20% margin. But by 2004 nearly half of the nation's counties voted for John Kerry or President Bush by that same margin.

President Clinton also reminded the governors that the issues they're dealing with today are similar to those faced by Teddy Roosevelt a century ago, including inequality among the rich and poor, immigration and energy. But Clinton says he thinks we will deal with these issues and enter a period of light, not darkness.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with President Clinton that America is becoming more divided?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David from Orlando, Florida writes:
Let’s see, 85% of the people think we are on the wrong track. McSame wants to stay on the wrong track. Obama says he wants to change direction. Yet the polls are still saying both candidates are in a dead heat – just as they have been for 8 years. Either the pointer on the opinion poll meter has been stuck for 8 years, or we are terminally divided.

Bob from Richmond, Virginia writes:
Yes, Jack, I believe he is correct. By the way, did he mention how he and his wife contributed to and tried to use this divisiveness to their advantage with their comments during the Democratic primaries?

Kay writes:
Absolutely, we are more divided. And, as they say, everything comes from the top. The Bush administration has always emphasized the "with us or against us" stance. An 8-year diet of divisiveness and division has left us here. Republican or Democrat? Christian or Muslim? Have or have-not? And sadly, we are all watchful and careful.

Sherri writes:
No, I don't feel we are more divided! And that’s because Obama won in Iowa. As a black American, that surprised the hell out of me and everyone I know. It opened our eyes that America is open for a change, in the form of a woman or a black man.

G.C. writes:
Life is filled with stress. Home, family and friends relieve that stress. I find nothing wrong with living in communities of people who are similar to you and share your values. Rich and poor folk alike and all those in between have been doing this for decades. We're not more divided. It's just more in the forefront.

Deborah from Indiana writes:
Yes, we are more divided. And what's worse, we can't agree to disagree and listen to one another's point of view. We've lost our ability to listen to someone's ideas, think about them, and discuss the opinion rationally… Everyone has the notion that it is "my way or the highway."


Filed under: President Bill Clinton
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I believe so. With fox,limbaugh,hannity and their ilk out there spreading their message of hate to the unwashed masses it is inevitable that we would become more divided. The liberal media is not much better. All we get is propaganda and sound bites. An uneducated citizenry will lead to our downfall. United we stand,divided we fall!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Steve Peach - Indiana

    I do agree with President Clinton that the America is becoming too divided. The problem for him though is that if Hillary would have won the nomination, the divide would have been even greater than it is now. Let's hope Barack Obama can bring us all back together so at least we can be civil toward one another, not matter what a persons political persuasion is. There is just way too much back biting between the Democrats and Republicans and not enough real work being done in Washington to get this country moving forward.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Jim from BC

    Considering that the Clinton – that is Hillary's – whisper campaign (Psst! Don't give up yet!) is still going strong and will divide the DNC, then yes the country is becoming more divided.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Rosalynd Florida

    I don't think it can get more divided than it is today. Under the Bush-Clinton-Bush terms partisanship grew by leaps and bounds. I like Obama because I believe he will have a more bipartisan government that will benefit the American people.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  5. Redfoot, Hazlet, NJ.

    Yes, and I think He and Hillary is part of the reason "Why".
    Their campainge against Obama was really A divicive one.
    There shouldn't be a red and a blue, a white, black or any other categaory, just Americans for America.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I defer to Bill on this. After all, he and Hillary have caused much of the divisions.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  7. David, Orlando, FL

    Let’s see, 85% of the people think we are on the wrong track. McSame wants to stay on the wrong track. Obama (says) he wants to change direction. Yet all the polls are still saying both candidates are in a dead heat – just as they have been for 8 years. Either the either the pointer on the opinion poll meter has been stuck for 8 years, or we are terminally divided.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Jayne in NH

    Sadly, I have to agree with Bill Clinton and I don't see much hope in the near future for a change in the status quo. As long as Rush, Coulter, O'Reilly, Malkin, etc., continue to rake in big bucks selling hatred and division, it's unlikely the America we knew a few decades ago will reappear. Without unity, it's everyone for themselves and at the moment it's only working out well for the fabulously wealthy among us: Rush, Coulter, O'Reilly, Malkin, etc.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  9. Pat, Canada

    It's funny that this remark would come from Bill. Given the divisive campain Bill-Hill ran during the Primaries I'm suprised that he has the gall to suggest this... Like it's happening over there, and being propegated by somebody else.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  10. Hubert Bertrand

    Not only divided But lost. Where are we going????? (CRAZY)???

    July 14, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  11. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Yes I agree with Bill Clinton, America has become more divided the Clintons have helped make it so, along with a few others like the Reverands Wright and Jackson.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  12. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I actually do agree with Clinotn that America is becoming more divisive but I think that he was remiss in not going beyond the simple comment of the symptoms and diagnosing the underlying problems. As this nation struggles to maintain or regain its global economic dominance, people are more afraid of their own standings financially and socially. The politics of fear encourage similar group think and fear or hatred of those not like yourself.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Hubert Bertrand

    Not only divided But lost. Where are we going????? (CRAZY)???It's also (UGLY) out there

    July 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Miko Kansas City

    Funny he should say that when he and his wife did a lot to divide us democrats, with that being said, alot of these "angry hillary supporters" are actually McSames supporters posing as angry hillary supporters. A lot of his supporters switched their votes over to vote for hillary. any who we need to get pass that and vote democratic. not are of us are divided

    July 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  15. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    Yes, Americans being more divided, but the reason is that they are seeking the truth.
    Bill Clinton is waging a war of fear knowing that a third party is not far behind.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  16. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    OMG, people become bitter and cling to their guns and religion and antipathy towards people that are different. didn't HRC drag that through the mud a few times? Could Bill possibly be agreeing with this?

    I think that when times are rough, people stay closer to the known around them. When home is not that safe and secure, they don't have a safe haven to leave from to go out and adventure. they are far busier keeping their home area safe.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  17. Kay in WV

    Yes. America is becoming more divided and each division is being further divided. Race, region, religion, income, sex, political party; all are becoming little groups that people are allowing to define themselves.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Caryn, Washington DC

    Bill Clinton is just looking for an excuse to remove his foot from his mouth. From what I recall of the primaries, he was the divisive one.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Joe in DE

    Yes – too many political talk shows, too many Blogs, too intense media coverage, all of which is abeted by our general naivety..

    July 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  20. Rlouden

    Yes I agree with Bill Clinton, but I tend to think the divide is among the older members of the country. Those under 30 seem to be open minded and haven't focused on the last 20 years of intentional division created by Newt and team.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  21. Brian - Trinidad

    He is dead right! And the blame for this has to be borne by Obama.At the start of his campaign,he sermonized about change and being different.And people believed him.And to help his campaign,he resorted,successfully,to the same-old-same-old mudslinging of the past.When you can get the CNN gang to daily brand Bill Clinton of all people as "RACIST", you are not a uniter,you are a divider!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  22. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    The people on my block think so, but the people one street over don't think so. The people on my block are pretty bright though and the people one street over are complete idiots.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  23. Mertis in Atlanta

    Jack,

    I think he's right.

    Unfortunately, President Clinton hasn't help matters in the past 6 or 8 months. I had such respect for him back in the 90's but I just didn't think Senator Clinton was the right choice to be the DEM nominee. As soon as things didn't go their way, we saw a side of him I didn't believe even existed.

    Takes a lot of nerve for him to even talk about this subject under the circumstances...

    July 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  24. Joe in DE

    Itwould help McCain because Iraq would fade as an issue. Recent polls show Obama seriously slipping – polls at his stage are meaningless. The VP choice is becoming increasingly important. McCain has few helpful prospects, definitely needs someone nationally known and younger. Obama appears to lack the self-confidence & maturity to make he obvios nbest choice for the Democrats.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  25. The Haves in Oregon!

    Of course, there is a division: the Haves, and the Have- Nots! There is a fundamental division which will be made more apparent when the market gets to the point of not worth it! The elites know this!

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  26. Rosalynd Florida

    I don’t think it can get more divided than it is today. Under the Bush-Clinton-Bush terms partisanship grew by leaps and bounds. I like Obama because I believe he will have a more bipartisan government that will benefit the American people.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  27. Joe St Louis, MO

    We are doing what our political parties have made clear to us. Divide into groups and hate the other group because they are wrong.

    Joe St Louis,MO

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  28. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Absolutely. Look at any blog, any comment on any paper's website. People politicize everything now. Everything. The bridge collapse in Minneapolis, the price of milk, traffic, the mortgage meltdown. People go home, watch whatever subjective show they agree with and make the host's opinion their own. If you disagree with them they call you an idiot. For a country based on small government, we have embraced politics in every single element of our lives. Nothing personal, Jack, but I think it's time we all turned off the TV.

    July 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  29. T (Ft Worth)

    Yes in most parts of the country still live with their like because if a black family moves into a all white community there is always some stupid white person who will not like the blacks moving in and will stop at nothing to get rid of them. Also the rich and the poor are becoming oceans apart also.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  30. Karen in Fairfax, CA

    Yes. The divisions initiated by the Moral Majority in the 80's were tactically emphasized in Rove's use of emotional wedge issues during the 90's, and the simultaneous use of gerrymandering to manipulate Republicans' re-election ensured increasingly stubborn rancor between both parties in Congress. Add to that the fact that media coverage of politics seeks ratings through conflict-driven sound bites over thoughtful content, and we're screwed. Why *wouldn't* we be more divided than ever?

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  31. Glen in Laurel, MD

    Yes, the country is getting more divided, and every time a news segment oversimplifies an issue for mass consumption, it gets worse. When news producers act on the assumption that nuance and the "nuts and bolts" of an issue are too complicated or boring to bring in the ratings, we get sound bite versus sound bite, scandal versus scandal, caricature versus caricature.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    There are two major divisions in this country...people who think we are divided and the idiots who think we're not. Earth to Bill. Ever since Homo Sapiens have inhabited the earth, divisions have existed and will continue to do so until we all blow each other up. White versus Black, Red versus Blue, Protestant versus Catholic, Men versus Women, the Beatles versus the Stones...as humans, we have a fatal desire to put ourselves in nice neat little boxes, and to hell with anyone who doesn't think the way we do. It's in our DNA.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  33. Chuck in MO

    Your question on the subject matter of the previous hour demonstrates
    what Bill Clinton said as well as anything. Most of my republican friends
    hold with prejudices that I find reprehensible and they would gladly see
    this nation destroyed before a black man becomes president. Many
    feel that way about other minorities and women included. The war
    on education and enlightenment continues to grow, as does my spam
    list of their ignorant emails.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  34. marie from sc

    It's priceless coming from Bill Clinton that America is becoming more divided. The Democratic primaries ran too long, and were more than vigorous, they were bordering on a verbal blood bath. Bill Clinton was not an idle player in all of this. Obama and McCain are at polar ends, and voters are aligning according to their needs. The stakes are high, and we'll probably remain divided until our country's problems stabilize.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  35. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    Jack, America as a nation is not as deeply much as they are polorized. Any division that exists is with in party lines as well as within each party. This was caused by many factors which could be debated until we turn blue and it would remain. "IF and that is a big "IF" everyone voted by party value and direction we would be fine; however, this year the divisions will remain based upon gender. That which I completely do not understand. We all have the same goals, but see different ways of getting there, of course there is a distinct exception in that the rich as well as the multi Billion revenue Corporate American would like to see things left as is. I belive as Clinton states that it will change.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  36. Conor in Chicago

    It is not that we are becoming more divided, it is just becoming more obvious that people who do not agree with the neo-con/republican religious right are going to have to take this country back by force and not through elections that keep being stolen from us. We've been this divided since the days of Clinton but with the usurper Bush destroying this country for the good of Haliburton and half the population applauding him for it it has simply become clear that more drastic measures are required. Mark my words: If McCain becomes president and there is ANY chance at all of "Tom Foolery" like the Supreme Court awarding the election or Diebold machines "malfunctioning" en masse like they did for Bush in '04 there will be chaos in the streets.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  37. John

    I think there is a lot more movement going on between socioeconomic groups than Bill Clinton realizes. My wife and I live in an upper middle-class neighborhood, are financially comfortable, and plan to vote for Obama. We were registered Republicans until this year. Our family members around the country also live in traditional Republican situations, but all of them are now Democrats. Based on where we live, the pollsters have made very wrong assumptions.

    Fort Collins, CO

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  38. Annie, Atlanta

    As a liberal living in the red state of Georgia, and being afraid to put an Obama sign in my front yard, I've seen some conservatives becoming more rabid by the week, in some cases forcing me to re-evaluate lifelong relationships. Very sad and starting to get frightening.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  39. Paulina, Deventer, NL

    Yup.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  40. David Richards

    Every poll shows that Amreica remains split like it has been since 2000. The reason I like Obama so much is I think he has the ability to draw us together in a common cause. I wish he'd get back to that message and stop pandering to the middle.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    I really don't agree with Bill Clinton on this. With the popularity of Barack Obama and his message of hope and peace, I think people are coming together to work for his causes. A lot of people must be questioning themselves why they fell for the Bush lies and voted for Bush/Cheney. The huge crowds Barack is garnering tells us a lot about the country's interest in going in a new direction. Some of the red states are now even leaning blue. I am sooooo excited!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  42. Jerry from Fayetteville, TN

    I don't believe that America is becoming more divided – the existing divisions are just becoming more organized as like-minded folks band together, which does tend to aggravate the differences. We need better politicians that are capable of mitigating the polarization rather than the current ones that intentionally aggravate it.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  43. James D. Cary NC

    President Clinton must have slept through the big "Red State and Blue State" discussions of 2004, and all the wedge issues Rove used to prop up Bush. Maybe Gramm's "Mental Recession" comment was offensive enough to wake him up.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  44. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Yes I do believe that the members of congress have created a totally divided nation. They way the districts have been carved out to save each of their jobs has resulted in deep division. Both parties are at fault and about the only way to begin to restore order is to completely realign the voting districts, disband the Supreme Court, and start over.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  45. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    There are two major divisions in this country…people who think we are divided and the idiots who think we’re not. Earth to Bill. Ever since Homo Sapiens have inhabited the earth, divisions have existed and will continue to do so until we all blow each other up. White versus Black, Red versus Blue, Protestant versus Catholic, Men versus Women, the Beatles versus the Stones…as humans, we have a fatal desire to put ourselves in nice neat little boxes, and to hell with anyone who doesn’t think the way we do. It’s in our DNA.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  46. Anthony Smith

    Absolutely! 9/11 brought America together for about a year. Now there is more division than on an algebra blackboard. America is losing its pride, focus, and foundation to which it was built. America is being bought out, put out, and sent abroad. The Government, witnessed by 9/11, oil dependency, Katrina, and mortgage crisis, has become reactive and not proactive. People are losing faith! When faith is lost, division is born!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    July 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  47. Michele, Oregon

    I think Clinton is right. There is a growing disparity between peoples and the two parties reflect the polarity as well. People are throwing their gauntlets down for the side that pays attention to their values even if it is not the whole banana. I am a pro-life, Catholic Democrat who values coalition vs. domination, restorative vs. retributive justice, compassion vs. dogmatism, active non-violence vs. war, concern for the poor, stranger, and the environment. We cannot come to this if we cannot see that our own self-interests are bound to the common good. Maybe our nation is finally becoming ripe by seeing the antithesis of these values stated above for many years now. Let's hope!

    July 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  48. JT in NYC

    There is no doubt that the nation is becoming more divided and more polarized than ever before. The problem seems to stem mostly from the political extremists who dominate our air ways. This is true of both the left and the right, although I dare say the right wing extremists are the loudest. They are very intolerant of everyone who disagrees with them and the more intolerant they become, the more attention they receive. And the more attention they receive, the louder the opposition gets. In the end, no one is listening, and everyone is shouting. As a wise man once said, "It's getting ugly out there."

    July 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  49. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It's always good to go with the facts.

    The workers who built the pyramids had lives more comparable to the pharoah's than an American has to our aristocracy.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Marie Ontario

    I am not sure about the divisions within America but I can tell you there is a widening divide between America and the rest of the world.

    If a person running for your highest office makes a statement about killing citizens of another nation and rationalizes this as a joke it comes across like, if Americans find this funny then, to some degree they must share McCain's sentiments.

    I'm not sure if Obama can change your countries image world wide but let's keep our fingers crossed and hope so.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  51. George

    I agree 100% with the President, however it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Just look around you, and with half a brain you can see people changing more to the way they themselves want to believe rather that a group. It has been more of an individual "what is bast for me", rather than "what is best for everyone".The more times this happens the more differences we have.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  52. Bit

    Yes, he is right; and the people who listens to Fox,limbaugh,hannity, are even more divisive. I am black and listen to Limbaugh-not because I like him-but because I like to know what he and his followers think and how they view the world through blind eyes. That also goes for Fox and Hannity.

    Fox suposed to be "fair and balanced." Please, I beg the difference. That is the most prejudice show in history.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  53. Jay-Mississippi

    Of Course, the poltics of fear have proven it. In 1976 you could have never used fear to prohibit people from supporting President Ford or Jimmy Carter as the nominee. REmember the days of McCarthiesm. America is divided, by the big three, by race, class, and gender.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  54. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Are Americans divided because our politicians are divided? Or the opposite? It's hard to tell and we can point fingers all we want. The bottom line is that our country has some serious problems to deal with and until we come together to work them out, things will not change. This is terribly cliche, but here it goes: United we stand, divided we fall.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  55. JT

    Yes America is divided thanks to Americans. Americans divided America. Ironically, It was Bill and Hillary Clinton who contributed to make sure America gets divided. I always say that Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, are idiots.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  56. Dave from Maryland

    I would have to agree. I think it's mostly because of the discontent over the current occupant of the White House and the Republican Party. It's one thing when lies and half truths are used to trick the American people into a war, but I think it's even worse for 'conservatives' to support the liar and the lie. It's really gotten ugly out there.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  57. Ryan in New York

    Jack, James Madison warned the country in the Federalist Papers of the inevitable factional bickering that a system of two parties would inevitably produce, and as we have seen today only become more volatile and detrimental to what is in the best interest of the country. The blame game of todays parties is hurting American people, and the inability of the parties to compromise is why we have seen Independents grow to account for a majority of American thinking. It might take a new, or even additional party to wake up both Democrats and Republicans and revitalize our political system.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  58. Carolyn Pottsville, PA

    Bill Clinton is looking through his own filters which let him see our country divided. Maybe why this is why he and Hillary ran their campaign the way they did – they were the "chosen ones" and how dare this "newbie" run against them. There are lots of interracial marriages and our Miss USA was a minority. If Bill Clinton sees our country divided, it is coming from Within himself; this leads me to believe that his real beliefs are starting to show through the facade that he and his wife portray.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  59. Greg Pottstown Pa

    Jack In a word, Yes.
    We are getting farther apart because of extremists on both sides. People in this country will believe anything you tell them, and are way to sensitive. We need to grow up and stop pointing the finger at the other side. I read the other day that the term black sheep is now a racial slur. If you know anything about sheep you will know that the chances of a sheep being black are about the same as a tiger being white. The term means different, not bad or dumb. We as a hole are to sensitive. I can see why a black person gets mad about it and I can see why a white person gets mad because someone says it is racist. In the end both parties feel wronged as if one was trying to take away part of what makes them the person they are. We as Americans need to toughen up allot.

    July 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  60. Paul

    Yep, the pot just called the kettle black.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  61. gam

    The division could be healed if News Commentators would report news. Stop using one sound bite as a discussion topic with opposing points of views by left and right. Try taking one issue and disect it with intelligence and homework. Who the Hell cares what Jessie Jackson said in a whisper. Wolf devoted a great deal of time to this nonsense. You may want to follow the lead of the likes of Bill Moyers or the News Hour on PBS stations. I wish more folks got their news from them and not the cable jibberish thats out there. MSNBC and Fox are just as quilty. Although I can't stomach Fox so I am unobjective when it comes to them.

    Ann -North Carolina

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  62. Terry in Hanover County

    Since the 1980s, the Republican mantra has been "divide and conquer." Facts, truth, and reason do not apply when both Parties treat America like a private football game, with the winning side personally reaping the spoils of victory. The Dems are now in control but they are no better than their GOP counterparts. Until we have representatives willing to leave their cheerleading and party affiliations at the door and start working for We the People, nothing will change and we will grow further apart as a nation.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  63. Ben, Chicago IL

    I would say the working class is becoming more divided amongst itself. As the income disparity between rich and poor has shown there clearly is a class war going on. Using the old strategy "divide and conquer," the rich, with their soldiers in the government and the media, have managed to divide the poor and working class into many camps, preventing us from showing a unified front.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  64. Lynn

    Jack I think Bill Clinton is right. Senator Obama and Dr. Dean has done their part in the primary by dividing the Democratic Party by their tactics. For the first time in my adult life I will not be voting for a Democrat President. If someone had said this a year ago I would have said no way and bet my life on it. Its very sad.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  65. PC

    Jack,

    It looks to me that Bill is planting the seeds for a Hillary 2012 bid. He knows that talk of division could lose the race for Obama and Hillary can come back in 2012 to "save" the Democrats from the naive, silly notions of unity and consensus and back to the politics we are used to of us against them. The Clintons will stop at nothing to return to the White House.

    PC
    Atlanta

    July 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  66. Greg Pottstown Pa

    Don't you love it when someone says we are divided because so and so did this or that and all they are really doing is dividing us further.
    People are so dumb

    July 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  67. Jill

    No way! There are a handful of issues that still polarize the country, but most Americans are running for the center. Politicians all sound the same now, conservatives and liberals preaching the same solutions but calling them different things. The ultra-conservatives and the ultra-liberals definitely make the most noise, but most Americans don't fall into one of those groups. To use the old cliche, there's more that unites us than divides us.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  68. Mark - Asheville, NC

    I do not know if America is more divided, but I have NEVER seen the Dem party this split, not even in 1968, and I don’t think it will heal anytime soon. Who do I blame?? I blame the media and the DNC for so egregiously interferring in what should have been OUR primaries, by pushing their candidate no matter what. Now there will be hell to pay, certainly in November.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  69. Eugene in Florida

    America is not more divided!!

    Long before Obama. There were the red states and the blue states.

    Long before Obama. There was the reglious right and the liberal left.

    The only reason Bill is saying this is because he and Hillary lost alot
    of their following to Obama.

    They don't give up power. You have to take it away from them and he
    did.

    Divisive is Bill & Hillary's middle name.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  70. Anna, SW Missouri

    I do believe there is truth to his message, but he and his wife should be apologizing for running a campaign that pushed this very thing to the limits.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  71. John Minnesota

    Yes I do the white community is getting scared every time they see well educated black person, Obama is an example a lot of whtie people specially conservatives (righ wing) when they see Obama they think they will lose their power and their influnce to exploit the American people. They hate Obama because he is waking up a lot of Non white and poor white people to stand up for their rights , rich white people do not like American united they like to rule by divde and Concur tactic. Look at Idiots Like O'Relley, Hannity , Lou Dobbs and alike making killing money by kissing rich people's ass and gossiping. If this continues American is going to go down.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  72. MIKE A, CHARLOTTE,NC

    america IS becoming more divided thanks to the publications like the new yorker, blowhard pastors, racists like al sharpton , prejudicial statements like jesse jackson and old redneck thinking straight out of the 1950"s. when will america grow up?

    July 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  73. george charles paree

    You people drop kicked bill and hillary with your basis hate full natures Which you cant seem to hide.It bill could have gotten rid of the federal reserve he would have as it was he who out out smarted them and raised our economy peace throw out the world for eight years but you couldnt waite to get rid of him ,know what have you done bush you hate bill so bad you cant waite to vote obama for you can say look at this moron he doesnt see the forest for the trees well your right not about your self loving money loving Bush . These money changers will be sent to hell where they belong .Know you got the poor bastured saying it would take eight years to get new oil why hasnt the president told him yet about alaska having 200 years of oil now.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  74. G-Ma from Lake View, SC

    President Bill Clinton, as usual, has a way of getting to the heart of the matter with his thoughts and comments. Having a historical view of the past helps. A cycle of the wealthy versus the common working family is again in process. It just remains to see how this cycle will resolve itself. The working family will have to find a way to overcome the self-centeredness and greed of the too well-to-do, or no one will be able to prosper on either side-eventually. A new generation of leaders elected to office in 2008 with new goals more purposefully benefitting our working families can make a great difference to improve everyday life in the United States.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  75. Len Albuq New Mexico

    Yes, Right down the middle. the haves and have nots. This is the only way the Republicans know to succeed (Divide and Conquer).

    July 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  76. Emeka, Florida

    Bill and Hillary should first start by cleaning up the mess they put in the democratic party before telling us we are more divided. They caused much of the current division among urban and rural democrats.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  77. Cynthia

    I a sense I agree that the country is divided. The Clintons as well as others should ask themselves, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem?

    July 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  78. Linda Richards

    Although I believe he is correct, he's part of the problem. We have become a nation so ill-informed and with such a short attention span that it seems such a simple task to tap into our divisions rather than things that unify us. And as both Clintons showed in recent times, unification is used as a strategy that enables us to show our bias in blocks or as leverage for those with the power of enough of a divided camp that it can be used as a marker. Linda in Woodbury, NJ

    July 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  79. rino of NYC

    People divide or separate themselves when they can't fit in a group, be it race, color, language, ethnicity, religion, ideologies, etc. But these have been happening since ages.

    The goal we should work on is to bridge the gap among such divisions to be spearheaded by family heads, education leaders, government officials, religious leaders, and world leaders. But what we are witnessing is that such leaders seem to be the most sensitive and non-accommodating, when interpreting minor comments, statements, or actions as derogatory, bias, stereotyping, discriminating, etc.

    I see hope in the younger generation- they tend to mix more fully well with diversity oriented environment than we do.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  80. William in Sanford, N.C.

    Bill Clinton is right that this country has become divided. Politics has divided the population into dozens of different groups all fighting for the lion's share of government giveaway programs. We don't have a country where everyone speaks the same language and millions of citizens call theirselves some variation of hyphenated American. Clinton calls the country divided but crumbling would be a better description.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  81. Errol

    Come on Jack are you surprise , who owns the New Yorker magazine
    it,s Rupert Murdoch The. Do you expect anything else from that magazine owned by an Austrailian DINGO.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  82. Darren S.

    I bet if Hillary Clinton had won the nomination, Bill Clinton would be praising how our nation was coming together so I guess it all depends on which pair of glasses you looking through?

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  83. truth matters

    Why did his wife brag about her support among "hard-working white Americans"?

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  84. Howard

    African American?????? then speak in the African language.
    when is the last time you were in africa? how well is the african nation doing? still throwing spears at one another- and how about genoside
    that is taking place now. And what are the African Americans doing about this ? NOTTA!

    July 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  85. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    Yeah, Ol' Bill called this one on the money. And he should know.

    In the past six months, this guy certainly did his part to polarize my Democratic party along the lines of race and gender (i.e. Jesse Jackson comments in SC, and his incessant whining about how Hill was the victim of gender bias.) Baloney.

    Isn't this like the fireman who sets fire to the building, calls 9-1-1, then joins the fire crews to help put it out?

    Somebody get Bill a mirror.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  86. L

    Clinton should change his title from becoming more divided to revealing its true self.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  87. RD

    Yes and that is the goal of the Neo-Paranoid Faux News!

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  88. Alice - Arizona

    Yes we are divided, many thanks to the DNC.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  89. Sohail Qasim

    I agree fully! And the Clinton campaign started it.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  90. JT from TN

    I think we've always have had a dividing line and now we have a black man running for president, we're more divided because black people wanna see a black president in their lifetime. I wonder how it would turn out if both canidates were the same race. very interesting

    July 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  91. Marie

    Bill & Hillary are part of the problem, Remember when Hillary blamed the Right Wing for making up the story about her husband and Monica, she never said she was sorry.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  92. Dennis G form FL

    Living East of A1A in Florida makes you Elite. Some of the most exspensive DIRT in the World is East of A1A. Having said that some of the most ignorant, pompous, narcisitic people live East of A1A. Florida has miles and miles of beaches that tourists can not access. Even better than that, families that have resided in Florida for more than 20 years can't afford to live on the dirt their ancestors had. Money is the spike that is driving us apart. Some people love their money, I hate them and their stupid money. I love my wife , I love my family and, I love the freedom I have by not having to impress others with costumes, make up and props. That freedom makes me American not Ignorant American. And Senor Obama I can speak Spanish but I refuse to listen to it when I'm in this country. Its my heritage

    July 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Ralph in New York

    Absolutely, Jack. While so many support "history in the making", Obama's potential nomination will further divide our country.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  94. Sid-Texas

    Hello Jack,
    Yes. Our country is becoming more divided than ever before. Let's hope that divided is not replaced with shattered. I am 70 years old, and I have never seen headstrong arguing about who's right and who's wrong. I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world regardless of where we are headed.. The USA will always survive
    Sid....

    July 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  95. billy

    If all the moderates would just come together and leave all the extremist out of the equation our country would run a lot smother.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  96. F. Preyear

    Jack,

    America is not becoming more divided; it has always been divided. This year's election process has just magnified the unspoken problems that exist in our country. Everything was business as usual until the issues of racism and sexism were brought to the forefront and had to be addressed. There will always be an upheaval as the ways of old fight the new prior to true change.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  97. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Absolutely, Jack. Democrats hate Republicans and vice versa. Bill Clinton is totally correct. What to do about it is another problem. The current administration has so completely spawned this divisive attitude because of the way it has conducted itself in that last almost 8 years, and there is no trust in anything anymore, People don't believe anything that Washington says because they have caught them in so many lies and cover ups. I feel sorry for the next president and the mess that he will have to try and fix. You couldn't pay me enough to be in his shoes.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  98. Nadine

    Look who's calling the "kettle black"! The Clintons are a growing part of division in America. Things didn;t go their way in this election and now he wants to broadcast, "Division".

    July 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  99. Ashlai

    I think that the the person or people that did that picture of Mr.and Mrs. Obama are really stuipd. They are probobly just jealous that he is doing so well in the race. And let me tell you something Mr. Obama is going to win this race for sure. i think that they are just trying to start something but he doen't let things get him down he is a fighter. That is why he is going to be the pres.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  100. Vicki C. Bryant, Esq.

    What the bloody h- does Bill Clinton know about the divisiveness of which he is a part and which he has promulgated. I can't stand him.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  101. Nicole from Glenside, PA

    Of course the country is divided. Just look at the latest CNN poles regarding the election. The "haves" don't want to loose what they've got and the "have nots" are just frustrated. Maybe we will all come together when we're paying $20 a gallon for gas.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  102. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, Americans are not divided! We all like to eat, we all enjoy breathing, and we sure love having a roof over our heads…and guess what…those points are all in trouble thanks to this current administration.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  103. C. Eaton

    I feel in some ways we have over come may racial and ethnic biases. However, in still other ways we are becoming more fearful and suspicious of differences in culture, religion and political affiliations. I actually think 9/11 contributed to unreasonable fears of anyone "different" than oneself. However, what gives me great hope is the general open mindedness and inclusiveness of the younger generation!
    I think we are on the verge of a cultural change as the mantle is passed from the old guard to the new...

    July 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Since Obama won the Democratic nomination with the help of Republicans and Independents, I think that's evidence that we're becoming a more united nation despite the attempts of the Clintons. Hopefully, Obama will become president and not only bring more unity to America but to the world.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  105. Gayle Jacksonville, Illinois

    Yes Jack, we are more divided. The saying that has been aropund for a long time is coming true. "United, we stand, divided, we fall". Believe it, we are falling fast, we can't and we won't get up.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  106. James

    I do agree that segments of the country are becoming more divided, but I believe that they are trading in their intellectual security for a voice in mainstream society.

    The funny thing about President Clinton saying this is that during this primary election he helped contribute to this problem. He was not exactly a nuetral party and defenitely did not do everything in his power to bring the country together while he campaigned for his wife. Must be some of that good ol' Clinton Triangualtion at work.

    James
    Minneapolis, MN

    July 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  107. Chas

    Yes Jack this country is becoming more and more divided.

    The GOP aganda is to push mega capitalizm at the cost of American jobs and security while waving a flag of patriotism over the whole mess.

    The Democrates have a lot of work to do to fix eight years of that attitude.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  108. john marlton, nj

    America already is divided and we can blame our politicians. Once was a time when politicians expounded upon the virtue, values and future of our nation, today politicians, from both parties, exaggerate and exploit the differences. Guess who gets paid to run the political ads….

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  109. Erik

    The far right is shrinking into corner and will likely try to show its claws soon to get McCain into office even though he isn't their first choice. That fight will be divisive, but the Republicans care very little about actual people and are far more interested in maintaining 18th century institutions.

    Obama needs to quit pandering to those hesitant idiots, swing voters, and continue to build a larger, younger and more inspired NEW base for the Democrats. His run to the center a la John Kerry and Hillary Clinton is a mistake and will also lead to division with the Democrats and among those easily lead automatons, the swing voters.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  110. G. Penley

    I believe that Bill Clinton should go away and leave us alone. He's part of the division.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  111. Gene Foose

    Yes, I do agree with Clinton that we are a divided country and I don't see anyone stepping up to lead us back to being a nation that leads rather then a nation that seems to be ship without a rudder. We have become a country without a vision and self absorbed. I'm not sure how long our country can maintain its world dominance before we slip back into a secondary country.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  112. lampe

    People ,give me a break you act as if Pres. and Sen. Clinton are the only ones in world who ever talked negative about an opposing canidate. Where have you people been living in a cave. Obama and his supporters did their fare share of trash talking. And the reason that we are so divided is because The DNC and Obama choose to use back-door politics to get him nominated. You can go on blaming The Clintons,all you want to, in the end the real Clinton supporters know the real truth. The problem is that there is still sexism in this world and any woman that votes for a man who did nothing to stop deserves what ever happens if Obama wins.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  113. Ed North Carolina

    The great mass in the middle, all races and creeds, are closer than ever. The extremes on the right and left are more polarized fearing, perhaps, a loss of influence as Americans come together. They have to be louder now to be heard.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  114. Pwilt

    Jack,

    We have to know what we are before we can change.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  115. Ben Wallace

    Yes, we're becoming more divided as a nation.
    The USA is becoming a welfare state. There seems to be a never ending line of people with their hand out looking to the Government to solve their problems. Problem is, it is the tax payers of the US who are by and large footing this bill for these people and programs. Who looks after us - those of us who sacrificed, took the time and energy to get our education, accumulated wealth slowly, had the short and long term plans. Now we're being punished for it by the assault on our purse and wallet. Though, we carry the load, our vote does not count any more than the individual with their hand out to the government (my money). It's time to realize that in the USA there will always be poor, middle class, and rich people. There will also always be opportunities for those who really want it.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  116. JD

    I hate to agree with Bill but we are divided and getting worse. Until we can get some real constitutionalists in power and take back this government from the hack special interests on both sides we will not make any progress. We have too many big issues to deal with to fight over gay marriage or how to strip us of our second amendment rights.

    It is time to vote out all the incumbents and put in folks that back our Constitution and our rights and will fix this country instead of coming up with new ways to spend our money and take our freedoms. Now is the time for a new third party. . . .

    July 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  117. Jeremy Horne, Ph.D.

    The first post by David is on the mark. He says, "An uneducated citizenry will lead to our downfall." Now, for some homework. Read Plato's REPUBLIC and Aristotle's POLITICS. Then, remember that , after having read these classics and every major political philosopher thereafter, the perepuation of a democratic republic depends upon an educated populace. For public action, let's mandate philosophy, critical thinking, logic, and the teaching of scientific methods all across the curriculum in all publically-financed schools, universities, and colleges.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  118. Ed Morgan

    No, I think that the issue is not polarization of our society. I too have notced that elections are being won by a very close margin. Although like-mindeness may a factor, I believe that there is a more basic reason, the internet. There is simply more information available out there and people are able to make their choices on this basis.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  119. me

    We are very divided but we always have been. What we're becoming is less tolerant of each other. That is what will bring us down.

    July 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  120. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    What Bill Clinton is saying is accurate. But he should have the cahunas to come right out and say this is a result of our country living eight years under "The Great Uniter."

    July 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  121. Melissa

    Most people I know disavow extremes. In the real world, we have to make accommodation for differences of opinion and move on. It is the pandering to fear that this administration has stoked so well and with which the media fell right in line that make it seems as if we are this snake biting mass of humanity. Are you listening Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin?

    July 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  122. Ellie

    To the contrary, I think Americans are becoming more and more alike. Just stand in the line in a grocery store and listen to conversations between the seniors and the young couple, all commiserating about the price of food. Watch the white collar salesperson wince as they fill up their cars right next to the trucker watching the filling pump spin like a slot machine. The housing mess has yuppies looking for apartment rentals alongside of the blue collar couples. We are united in misery!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  123. Nancy Raines

    Yes we are more divided esp. rich vs poor. Everyone is so sensitive nowadays every word is taken out of context. People need to stop complaining and vote incombants out of office-maybe a new more responsible adminstration will help!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  124. Shawn

    Of course it is becoming (has been) divided....isn't that what the media wants! The media is responsible for shifts in change. The media tells a story the way it wants people to hear it, in their light, not the truth!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  125. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Division in the populace is what politcians live for. Without division, we wouldn't need them.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  126. Frank in New Orleans

    We should all fight becoming a nation that is no longer willing to compromise. We must abstain from ideological "rightness" and consider others points of view. We as a nation in war and peace need each other. Being an American still means something special. If you choose not to believe that, just wait untill the next national catastrophe!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  127. Daniel

    Absolutely, the US is more divided now than just 20 years ago. I am only 28, and the difference in our country over the past 10 years is astounding, and frightening. I think the US is closer now than at any time in the past 30 years to violent civil strife, economic depression, and worse. Studies continue to show that people are moving more and more to areas of 'like-mindedness'; that is, blue states are getting 'bluer', and red states are getting 'redder'. I fear that the best days of America are behind us, and it is beyond depressing – it is shameful that we have allowed it to happen.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  128. grady jarrett

    bill need to stop and understand that hillary is out and stop and do what he knows talk to america and tell us not to divide and america willl listen to him and he knows it

    July 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  129. Rick PA

    Yeah he is right. It's called RICH and POOR. Thanks for NAITA North American Insider Trade Agreement, I mean NAFTA

    July 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  130. William, Phoenix AZ

    It's the big Financial-Military Machine. We are divided. There's the people on one side and the government on the other. Good bye Middle Class.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  131. Buzzy

    Two candidates known for bipartisanship running against each other. Hmmm ?

    July 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  132. sean

    welli would think he should look in the mirror and double check to see if he and his "legacy" had anything to do with it at all ????

    July 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  133. Rhonda P.. - Cedar Rapids, IA

    Yes, we are more divided. However, this country has always been divided....racially, economically, etc. That's what we as American's like to do...classify items and people. But, under the leadership of Presidents like George W. Bush the nation has become more starkly divided in some ways than ever before. Economically there are now two classes in this county...the Bush class and the rest of us. The rest of us is a group that is growing much bigger and suffering much more. That's a true Bushism!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  134. Marie

    A divided house cannot stand! We have so many enemies throughout the world and serious ecomonic problems at home. We need the best and brightness amongst us to help get us out of this mess. Petty nonsense in the media stoking that which divides us, is what sells ad time, but it doesn't help the country. It doesn't matter which candidate you support, we need responsible reporting and intelligent discussion. I got an hour of intelligent political policy discussion from the Fareed Zacara show this Sunday and I truly enjoyed it. It was an hour of TV for grown ups hosted by an intellectual. Thank You Cnn.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  135. Travis Bennett

    While I do not like Clinton, Did not support Clinton, and would never vote for any Clinton, I agree that he is very correct in his assessment that America is more divided today then 30 years ago and is growing more divided.

    The issues of our day; energy, rich and poor disparity, and immigration are just symptoms and the root ill is globalization. How, we as a country, address the issues associated with globalization will define our countries future.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  136. Rose

    Yes, this country is divided and it is going to get worse. I believe that when Obama decided to run for President the divide started. The blacks flocked to him simply because he is black and I think they thought he would do great things for their race. White people are not stupid they can see what is happening and that causes even more resentment. If he wins the election you will see an even bigger divide. That is the time (after he is elected) that he will pander to the blacks, he can't afford to do that now.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  137. Dee

    I do agree; I see it at work and in my personal life. Why I do not know but I often wonder if it is safety in numbers (like minds).

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  138. The Truth

    After the primaries, I'm really not a Bill Clinton fan but he is right. America is divided but Hilary's campaign certainly didn't help the issue. I can't believe it is 2008 and we still have these issues.

    I hope America doesn't burn in it's racial fire. The number of racist, ignorant and uneducated people out there is scary.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  139. Norm

    Of course it is and as the country's resouces and opportunities dwindle away choices will lessen and it will become even more divided.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  140. ms.sims

    I don't think we're becoming more divided, i think that we are actually coming together for the most part. Of course this race just highlights the underlying issues that still need to be addressed which are sexism and racism. But at least having them out in the open can get the dialogue going and work toward solving the problem. Are there always going to be people who are racist/sexist of course, but we should all work to make them a minimal group in our society.

    People need to grow up and realize that there are problems far greater in this world than the amount of pigment in someone's skin or the sex they are.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  141. Ray M.

    I would say that it is divided period at this point.

    On the democratic side, the Clintons have ripped the part apart and put Obama in place to fail.

    On the republican side, it's more of the same and no recognition of how poorly the U.S. is held internationally nor issues affecting the country/world.

    Meanwhile, both sides have completely ignored the non-renewable resources issues, xeonophobia is on the rise, and very few people have any answers, much less desire to try and change things.

    Ray M.
    Oviedo, FL

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  142. Evan from Dallas,TX

    No, Americans were born to disagree, our country was founded because of a disagreement, and it is because of our ability to communicate so vastly and quickly that our disagreements can be heard more widely, and it creates the illusion that we are becoming more divided. The Civil War was the peak of division in this country and I don't see another one coming any time soon. And just to remind everybody a black man will probably be the next president.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  143. Nancy, Texas

    Bill and Hilliary ARE the biggest dividers because they didn't get their way.

    He's not the big cheese he once was so he's walking around with this tail between his legs belly aching all across the country trying to blame the American people. Come on Bill – still trying to live up to your name – Slick Willy

    July 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  144. Zack Ellison

    America is more divided, we have been trained by the political parties that there is no middle ground, in spite of the fact that the middle ground is always where a two party system should land. Politics of a democracy were not designed to make the final answer easy, the only easy system is a dictatorship where only one person has the supreme power to decide. What we have is the very best system, even though it feels very divided. I love it. Zack

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  145. Thomas

    Yes, and it's all Rush Limbaugh's fault.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  146. AJ

    I agree, and I also believe that Bill and Hillary had their chance once, they need to get out of the spot light and let someone else try and get this messed up country back on track. And as far as the media, thats another story. Thats why I don't listen to Rush, O'reilly or Coulter or spend money on those lousy magazines like the New Yorker.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  147. 70 Marine, Raleigh

    Bill did his part to divide the country, so he should know.

    Our country is evolving into different political, racial, and economic directions all at once. Our fore fathers could not have possibly had any idea what the 21st century American would look or act like, but the ground work that they laid down is still revelant today.

    We, as a people have to face our differences and overcome them. If you were alive in the 60's then you must remember that my generation was blasted as a failure by all the established players. We grew as a group and have done our part in growing this great country of ours. The current different parts of our country will once again come together and this generation will go on to sucess.

    We can't base our opinion only on past experiences, as Bill does, we must trust that our common goal will lift everyone up. What drove our past will drive our future, just differently. We are greater than the sum of our parts. We will not fail.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  148. Diane

    We will always be divided but Bill Clinton was a very effective president and Hillary would have been even better. What a shame... Our loss...

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  149. Travis -Cleveland, OH

    While I do not like Clinton, Did not support Clinton, and would never vote for any Clinton, I agree that he is very correct in his assessment that America is more divided today than 30 years ago and is growing more divided.

    The issues of our day; energy, rich and poor disparity, and immigration are just symptoms: and the root disease is globalization. How, we as a country, address the issues associated with globalization will define our country's future.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  150. maxx Atlanta GA

    Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However, a new generation is abound, just watch out .... we are turning the pages.. its disgusting how we cant live as a people this is the 21st century for Gods sake... whats wrong with you people we are acting like a third world country........ we are losing it but cant see beyond one selve.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  151. Jack

    It's amazing that the comments start with this Einstein who falls into the exact attack of the other side the article is about. Unbelievable. Mindless yet self-centered drones without perspective.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  152. blgeorgia

    Can't believe he has the gall to give this kind of speech; he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones. He needs to look to his own actions.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  153. jess in Mass

    Yes and I believe there is massive manipulation on the part of the media and our politicians to get us to the point we're at and keep driving wedges between us all as citizens. People need to take their educations into their own hands, remember to think critically and get involved with their communities (including those in their community with whom they share ideological differences).

    July 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  154. tom valley forge, pa

    Absolutely true. Americans are getting more divided and divisive in all facets. And the current election cycle will serve to underscore the polarization like never before.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  155. RICH

    Take the redistricting out of political party hands. Use a fractal formula based on the statistical U.S. Census population figures, to include the homeless, and plot a moving start point in each state every ten years to set up a constantly changing political map that eliminates SAFE SEATS based on voting patterns.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  156. Sarah - Washington, DC

    Divided? No, we all still hold dear to our hearts the freedom that were fought in the revolution. We now disagree on who has those rights unquestionably and what those rights are. Does that mean we are a divided country? I don't think so, I think it means that we have become a bratty nation that expects solutions to fall out of the sky rather than work for them. The divisions that we see aren't with our neighbors or the folks we commute or work with, we see the divisions of government. Let's remember that the major arguments for decisions play out in the Senate and Congress and WE, the people of America, vote them in whether or not we know anything about their platforms. Yet we are all distracted by daily details (bills, family, business, "me" time) to focus on the major drivers of this country: our own opinions.

    If the founding fathers came back today they would be shamed at the lack of citizen participation. No one said it was going to be easy, but some folks thought we could pull it off.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  157. Jim

    There is no doubt that ignorence is the major cause of this nations problems. Our education system is NOT doing the job.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  158. Karen

    Anyone who has travelled as much as Bill Clinton should know that “hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness" is completely normal and natural. Bill himself tends to hang around with people who love him, when he wouldn't have to look far to find some who feel quite the opposite. The only thing that has changed is the awareness of how varied we are, due to the expanding media.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  159. Ben

    Americans are not didived until politicans choose along party lines instead of what is best for the country. I have been to many parts of the country, and everyone gets along well. Everyone agrees that gas prices are too high, the economy is bad, and we must wim the war. Poeple aren't the problem, politicans are. Unfortunately, I'm 16 and not able to vote.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  160. GiroGeezer from Calif

    Yes, and it's because we have allowed ourselves to stop learning about trusting, helping, and needing each other.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  161. olivia, newark n.j

    no, america has always been divided!

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  162. Tony L.

    The US has grown consistently divided. 9/11 made that division grow. To many, it became a religious war in their minds. And for too long now, the religious "wrong" have infiltrated our government. The separation of church and state was put in place for a reason and we are now feeling the affects of it. I applauded the new coins that eliminated the superstitious writings of "In God We Trust". To me it represented a means of bringing our government and the ideals of the Constitution back into play. I can deal with the backlash of doing what is right. But, as long as there are tens of thousands of different religions claiming to be right without any proof, there will be divisions. Bringing religion into politics is proving to be our greatest mistake.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  163. Shafi Alam

    A small groups of mean minded people are encouraging Americans in being divided for quite many years. Misuse of freedom of speech, using the tool of ‘by hook or by crook’ in politics, and people giving up in being sensitive to wrong doings around them, are some of the factors dividing Americans. We Americans should wake up to stop this trend before we terminally fall.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  164. Eli WInter

    Yeah, what you see out there is what is in you... you were a big contributor to division in the primaries.
    Lead with your actions not words.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  165. mike

    we are hopelessly divided. game over.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  166. JC

    I believe that as America becomes even more diverse, patriotism is becoming even more divded. Here in Los Angeles, there are over 140 nationalities represented with many people retaining an allegiance to their ancestral homelands.

    Our leaders need to truly understand the people of our nation and understand the thought processess behind their actions; once this happens, our country can finally come together as one.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  167. Ryan Rodriguez; New Orleans, LA

    America is more than divided it is broken. We used to be a nation that could do anything, a nation that could put a man on the moon in 1969; now we can’t even fix an earthen levee and our dollar is worth less than the Canadian dollar. Thanks George Bush I am sure every one who you know is doing just fine.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  168. David in Dallas

    I sometimes think we are divided beyond hope. We are clobbered 24/7 with adrenalin pumping sound bites from every TV and radio station (even NPR). And, unfortunately, we consider ourselves "too busy" to dig further into the stories beyond the 10-word intro that has excited our senses. Whatever our political leaning, we're always ready to fight, never to reach compromise, because we have been conditioned to believe that we already know everything we need to know to espouse an opinion. Even Congress long ago gave up honest discussion and debate for 15 seconds on the 6 o'clock news – all for re-election, not for achieving what's best for America.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  169. Glenn Peters

    I think the degree of our division is being over-hyped by the national media, press, cable and network news, all radio commentators and panel members who make a living off a story, real or fabricated, and especially by the spokespersons for the presidential candidates. If we focus on the really important issues we are probably closer together and certainly no farther apart than the political parties have ever been. I see room for successful compromise. Apparently our current congressional ditherers really believe what they read in the papers and hear on the news,

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  170. amarie, Atlanta

    Yes, I absolutely agree but I would state it differently. I think America has always been divided publicly and in the most recent past privately. Now, it seems they are willing to show their divide moreso than ever because of their discomfort with a potential African American President.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  171. annette

    Yes Jack the country is definitely becoming more divided. The White house most all of Congress, no matter if its Demo-quack or Republi-CON, the New Police State we live in now, and the Corporate elite against the rest of the people in this country Jack.

    It's a good thing we still have the second amendment. Things as you have termed it so well, are Real UGLY out there, and getting more so by the day.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  172. KP - Orlando

    Yes, the United States is becoming more divided every day. But don't look to political parties or other cheap shot answers for the why. Take a look at our entertainment, the way we consume, and the overall mentality we as a country take toward any issue.

    As a nation, we've become blind to the fact that we 'expect" people to acknowledge our race, our religion, and our way of thinking in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. We feel that everyone MUST respect our way of thinking, and we are determined to force that into the courtrooms if we need to prove a point. We isolate ourselves by our music, television, political dogma, etc. Marketing representatives know this works, and exploit that to sell products. Hence the VERY targeted advertising that we see today.

    The way our government works is not the cause of our division, it is mirroring the way we already behave on a day to day basis. If you don't believe that, take a look at all the finger pointing in the commentary in this thread. What people need to see is not that finger pointing at someone else...they need to look at those other fingers pointing back at themselves. That's where the problem begins...with each and every one of us.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  173. CL

    I agree with the poster who said: "We are very divided but we always have been. What we’re becoming is less tolerant of each other. That is what will bring us down."

    I admit that I even find myself becoming less tolerant. Part of the reason is that there used to be an everyman quality to all Americans – we could all see a part of ourselves in each other. We had common ground. These days, I meet others who are politically and financially diametrically opposed to me and I can find no common ground.

    In part I blame the media for it. They have become geniuses at twisting ideas around and facing us off against each other. The truth nearly always lies somewhere in the middle – a middle most people can find common ground with. However, no one seems interested in the truth anymore.

    July 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  174. Cameron

    I agree that we are being divided as a nation and it is being done by the very ones who claim to be looking out for America. Special interests groups are spewing hate out in every direction. If they can break the majority of decent Americans and turns us against each other it will be a lot easier for them to exercise control of this country so they can impose their narrow agendas.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  175. J.Smith

    Bush started the divide.... 'axis of evils' 'with us or against us' blah blah blah. McCain will be the same so the Repubs will stick with him with the divide, the frightened will go for the ambiguous change of Obama, and the smart ones voted Clinton. Instead of the it being the Dems responisbility to create continuity, how about the Repubs who started this mess take some responsibility and fix it.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  176. Mark from Morgan Hill, CA

    The news media, internet blogs, and radio/tv talk hosts are becoming more divided as they try to stir up issues, but the general voter population isn't. The middle class is still the largest segment of voters and they all want the same things – a decent home and neighborhood, good schools, health care, and a job – and they are willing to work for it., and pay their share of the taxes to achieve it. They will vote for the candidate who they think can best deliver. Congress is the most divided after years of not working on the issues and blaming each other for the failures. McCain has a record of bipartisanship support and Obama is too smart to think otherwise (despite his liberal Senate record) . So, I think America can't lose on this election. Finally.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  177. Scott

    I am not the most educated person on the matter, but I would say yes. I see it every day on the news and within society in general. We have latin americans, african-americans, asian americans yada yada yada. That is division. We are all americans, at least those of us that are citizens or legal immigrants. I'm not an irish-american, I'm an american through and through. It seems more and more like american patriotism is a concept of the past.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  178. Matt

    Maybe, but I think most people are still floating in the general middle as usual. Unfortunately, those people have next to no voice hence the appearance of division. Overall, the media is driven by money and not news so mostly extremists are allowed a voice and the rest are shoved aside. Sooner or later the media will get nailed with some serious regulations to try and fix this (as has happened before), but it will be a painful ride. In the meantime, they remain as untrustworthy as our politicians.

    July 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm |