A Lack of Consensus is the Problem

The recent New York City truck attack has left a lot of questions to be answered for the city, for the country, and for everyone. There have been countless articles written trying to dissect how it happened, why it happened, and especially how it can be prevented.

Unfortunately, there are very few good answers to any of these questions. How it happened can be understood well enough. CNN has highlighted the major events quite well. Go ahead and click on the link to understand that.

That is, tragically, the easiest part of this situation. Why is harder to understand. There are many reasons that have been speculated about not just for this attack but for previous ones. These answers tend to have a political tinge to them just like the solutions that will be discussed below. Whether it is a matter of an evil ideology, poor immigration laws, or a lack of proper mental health assistance, particularly for immigrant communities, no answer is entirely satisfying, and none feels entirely complete, perhaps because of the blinders, political beliefs put on all those speculating.

Without a great answer, there are, of course, few satisfying solutions. Immigration bans have been raised once again, which is not surprising considering the current administration. Though it is less relevant to this particular case (more on that below), gun laws have also been addressed by those on the other side of the aisle, as have issues of mental health. A desire for greater supervision over some immigrant communities as well as a desire for more integration has been suggested, depending on the political allegiances of the expert.

Again, while all of these may have some potential positive effects, none feels holistic in its approach to the problem.

That may be because the problem is larger than the two dominant political ideologies of America are capable of addressing. The issue encompasses issues of mass violence that goes beyond the problems of Islamism. Recent mass shootings highlight other issues that seem to be related if not directly comparable. Problems with using vehicles as weapons ties into problems in Europe as well as issues of the massive number of large vehicles on the road and the number of irresponsible drivers in general.

The problem, then, as well as the solution may be a matter of a lack of any unity between beliefs, communities, and political ideologies in the country anymore. With such vastly different living experiences, beliefs, and even concepts of the truth, there’s little room for a consensus to grow on any issue. With cracks showing up over every issue in the country, it is hardly surprising to find something growing in the shadows.

The primary issue to address, then, is the lack of national consensus. Should America find a way to bridge that gap, perhaps moderate policies that address all sides of this issue can come through and make America a safer, more unified place to live.

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