Abraham Lincoln is often cited as the source of the line “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” and while the 16th President of the Untied States used that quote in one of his most famous speeches prior to the Civil War, the origins date back much further. In the Gospel of Mark 3:25, Jesus states, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” The thought itself is far more important than who said it, though, especially given the current state of the U.K. and the United States.
The vote by people in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has had some significant short term impacts, particularly on the markets and the value of various currencies, including ours. But the ultimate takeaway from this vote is that the U.K. is deeply divided. A 52-48 vote is a clear reflection of that division. It leaves open many questions including what of the state of the U.K. will be.Will Scotland now vote to leave? Whither Ireland? Who will replace David Cameron as Prime Minister and what sorts of policies will be enacted as a result?
In the United States it’s no secret that the nation is a house divided. This has been the case for some time and recent Presidential elections bear that out. But now we’re seeing a nation which is not merely divded bur rather fractured. Extremes on the left and right have emerged. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have significant swaths of support. It’s by no means assured that Hillary Clinton will be the next President but the smart money is riding on her even though she is a less than enthralling choice for the American electorate.
In both cases, whoever is tasked with the job of leading their respective countries the next Prime Minister of Great Britain and the next US President will inherit houses divided. Will either be able to repair the divisions?