What’s wrong with America – We Need to Row the Boat

An examination on why America needs to unite and Row the Boat toward a brighter future, rather than remain divided along political lines and lead to further setbacks for our country.


America is a country that has so much potential, yet it seems to be moving in the wrong direction – we have yet to Row the Boat. It’s time we ask ourselves what the real problems are. Can we lay everything that’s happening in America today on the shoulders of President Donald Trump? Or is he just an excuse – an easy scapegoat to answer for the discord in our divided country?

Honestly, I believe that he’s used as an excuse. We are supposed to be a country of values, of laws, a guiding light for other countries – we’re supposed to be the leader of the free world, valuing our democracy, our vote, our strength in knowing right from wrong. Yet this seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years, prior to the Trump Administration.

Take a look at the unrest in Charlottesville, the protestors, supremacists, and counter protests which have sparked chaos, violence and unhappiness across the country.

What is happening in America today has nothing to do with the First Amendment.


When You Don’t Row the Boat: America Divided Has Led to This Moment

Violence is not a part of the First Amendment.

In my lifetime, I have never seen such madness. But who are the true culprits here? Of course, those who commit violent, hateful crimes should be held responsible for them, but there’s a divisive undertone which had led to our current situation.

Politics plays a huge role. The rhetoric from both sides is unbelievable, with right and left alike helping to create the atmosphere of unrest. Even our media outlets are separated according to political bias. Facts are delivered with either a left or right bent, and this is incredibly disturbing.

There’s a severe lack of discipline in politics with parties working against each other, rather than together for the benefit of the country. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that Republicans and Democrats disagree on basic issues more than they did 20 years ago. We have cities and governments spending money they don’t have, and blaming the other political party.

And to make matters worse, technological advancements and the presence of social media has helped people on the far fringes of American politics and society to voice their vile opinions and further divide the general populace. Extremists who wouldn’t usually be taken seriously are allowed an equal platform to those who have valid views.

Violence in Chicago. A demand for free college, and a lack of determination to earning something through performance. Governments wasting funds and petty squabbling across party lines.

We’ve got too many holes in our boat and too many different hands pulling the oars. We’re circling in the water. All it takes is a glance at the news to know that we’re headed in the wrong direction.

I recently heard about a football coach from the University of Minnesota who coined the phrase ‘Row the Boat.’ Let’s take a look at what that means and how it applies to our country.


What Row the Boat Means

The concept was created by P.J. Fleck and revolves around the simple concept that one should never give up. We’re all rowing this boat together. How does a boat work?

  1. You need an Oar – this is the energy that you bring to your cause, relationships, work and life. This is what will move our boat. We need the right energy, and we need to share the same type of energy to move forward together.
  2. Then you need the Boat – this is the sacrifice we must make to move forward. We have to sacrifice to get what we have never had as a country, even if it means sacrificing our opinion.
  3. Finally, we must have a Compass – we need to travel in the right direction as one, and surround ourselves with positivity, rather than negativity.

If we focus on the present and rowing our boat as a country, together, we will ultimately achieve great goals and a better quality of life for all Americans. But how do we do that?


How We Could Row the Boat

As Americans, we have a lot of positive attributes. We have the most generous people in the world, and as a country, we’re willing to help those in need.

I grew up in New York, and have lived in Virginia and Los Angeles, and have seen the most generous people. The media, Hollywood, and those in the political sphere seem determined to set the country in the wrong direction. They could take a leaf out of P.J. Fleck’s book and Row the Boat.

The media is in part responsible for the violence today. Movies filled with violence and hate are shown constantly, and the news doesn’t report on the good, wholesome occurrences in communities, but gravitates toward negativities. Lies and fake news spreads on the internet. People no longer need sources to preach hate from their technological pulpits.

Congress is focused on their own special interest. They don’t work together. If everyone rows the boat in the same direction, we’d move forward and all benefit. We need to focus our energy in the same direction. That we need to go in the same direction. This applies to congress and our leaders.

The recent upheaval over the removal of Confederate statues is a prime example. There are many things that bring us together, but this conflict shows the issues which are used to get us rowing in different directions. And what happens when two people row in different directions in the same boat? It turns in circles and goes nowhere.

Our president may not be the best manager, but he’s right about congress. Healthcare doesn’t benefit the American people, but benefits constituencies and special interests instead.  The divisiveness in America is driven by demagogues who propose solutions which work at the expense of others.

We’re not united, and until we learn to Row the Boat together, we’re going to remain divided and angry. It’s time we work together for a brighter future.