Americans tend to take sides. Over everything. Sports. Politics. Race. Ethnicity. Religion. Food.
Like baseball in New York. You’re either a Yankee fan or a Mets fan. And never the twain shall meet. If a Yankee fan marries a Mets fan (that would be rare), babies that they have will end up with huge wardrobes of Yankee and Mets clothing. Families get into it too. I’m a Yankee fan. My son-in-law is a Mets fan. I’ve chosen to stay out of it and let my grandson wear Mets clothing without saying anything. He’s 5.
Then we have politics. This year’s craziness not withstanding, most people in the US define themselves as Democrats or Republicans. Like it’s a team sport. Loyalty to a team. In my opinion, the majority of my countrypeople don’t learn a lot about policy. Or are one issue voters (which I used to be). Big divides are abortion and gun control. Lots of people I know vote only for Democrats. Or only for Republicans. Not a mix. And some people get annoyed at friends or acquaintances who disagree with them. Forget families. Politics can make for horrible dinner conversation.
Religion is such a touchy subject that I’m afraid to even broach it here. Christianity vs Judaism vs Islam. And then subgroups. Protestant vs Christian. Versus other religions. Many people are defined by their religion. Go back just to 1941. My mother was Episcopalian, my father Catholic. They were married twice. One day they had the big wedding in the Episcopalian church, the next day they were married in the Catholic rectory. Many times that they argued, their religion would be thrown in the other’s face. Today, they are considered almost the same.
Now ethnicity. The United States is a country founded, by definition, by immigrants. Every generation brings a majority of immigrants from a different country or area. The English came. Then the Irish, whom the English-Americans discriminated against. Then the Italians came and the English and Irish discriminated against them. But Italians are mostly Catholic and so are the Irish so they had that in common. The Chinese came but didn’t try to integrate, so they didn’t count. Now the Latin Americans are coming and it seems most people hate them, although they all hire them. I’m being very superficial here, of course, but I think I’m making my point.
Race? Forget it. Nothing has been so divisive in our country than the race issue. If anyone has even a thought that this is not still an issue, look at the American History books. European-Americans get 400 pages, African-Americans get maybe 3 pages. Lots of Americans still think that President Obama wasn’t really born in Hawaii. John McCain was born in Panama (still a citizen because he was born on a US Navy base). But no one questioned him.
However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, divides Americans more than coffee.
Dunkin’ Donuts vs Starbucks.
Ask any American you know, which coffee they prefer. Usually, you will get an answer followed by a justification. Not just “I’m a Yankee fan.” “I’m Catholic.” “I’m a Republican.”
You will hear “I’m totally for Dunkin’ Donuts. Starbucks is so bitter. Yuck. How can anyone drink that.” Conversely, “I’m Starbucks all the way. If I wanted watery coffee, I’d go to Dunkin’ Donuts.”
I drink Dunkin’ Donuts. Exclusively. Obviously. Why would I drink anything else?
I’m 100% Dunkin’ Donuts.