In a distant galaxy that no telescope (even the Webb, the most powerful space one ever built) could spot, thrived a civilization, advanced beyond human imagination. It was governed by a council of wise beings. This civilization had existed longer than the 13.8 billion years Earth scientists believed to be the age of the known universe. For thousands of years research teams from the council had traveled from planet to planet. They had one goal \u2014 to see if any country within a planet had matured sufficiently to become part of their culture. Much was to be gained by admission. \u201cUnimaginable\u201d was the word universally cited by countries newly admitted in characterizing the wonderment inspired by that civilization. A requirement for a country to be admitted was that its inhabitants had to demonstrate civility and regard for each other. Scattered throughout the universe were some planets with just one member country. Aware of this civilization, a few non-member countries continuously sought to reach that civility status. Others, no matter how they strived, floundered. Researchers from this civilization had traveled the span of the universe. Their last time to the land called America was during the Civil War and later in the World War II era. More recently they were there to report on the ongoing debate about the country\u2019s survival of their cherished democracy. The research team knew that there had been periods in which Americans had been civil and even helped each other. But they also knew that too often acts of goodwill were overshadowed by times of self-destructive dissension or power-grabbing attempts among a few. Most recently, the research team had been in America for six months of observation from California to Connecticut. And the council had considered admitting this country until they became aware of divisions among its inhabitants. Council members recalled the research team and awaited its report. The question to be resolved was whether America was ready to be admitted. One member of the team reported that, \u201cThe problem is between the two opposing political parties called the Democrats and Republicans. They also go by Liberals and Conservatives. It seems as if everyone in each party is at the throats of everyone in the other party.\u201d The team member continued, \u201cThen there\u2019s this lady, a Republican, a member of the country\u2019s Congress. She\u2019s going around blasting other Republicans for reaffirming what she says are the former president\u2019s lies. She\u2019s become an outcast among her own.\u201d The researcher added, \u201cMoreover, in her congressional race she was overwhelming defeated. Yet many Republicans secretly back her. As do Democrats. Her life has been threatened. The situation is becoming testy. One gets the feeling it may end up with shootouts. The way differences were often settled in that country\u2019s Old West.\u201d Another team member stood up and said, \u201cI\u2019ve interviewed younger college-bound children. Several have told me that they would never share a dormitory room with someone from the other party. And others have been similarly emphatic about dating or marrying anyone from the other side.\u201d This researcher added, \u201cIn fact there are areas of the country where individuals will buy houses only if like-minded individuals live there. One real estate company has an ad that reads, \u2018Well make sure you settle down with your kind.\u2019 And the inference was about political parties. Not race or sexual orientation.\u201d Another member of the research team said, \u201cWe have been told that one can\u2019t say anything positive about a member of the other party. It\u2019s labeled as blasphemy. That individual would be ostracized publicly. But praised privately.\u201d As the reports from members continued, three trends emerged. First, the researchers believed social media had added to the division. Fabricated stories were posted on various platforms. And people accepted them without thinking and acted on them. Second, one researcher voiced what most team members felt by saying, \u201cThis division has existed for years. For many reasons. It\u2019s always been below the surface. It took a few to spark it.\u201d Third, the member reported that the broadcast media has added to the division. A researcher added, \u201cFrom morning to night, media pundits take opposite positions. Some of it is ugly. And people glued just to just one outlet with one viewpoint believe everything they hear.\u201d A member of the council then asked, \u201cSo, who\u2019s telling the truth?\u201d To which a senior member of the team replied, \u201cWe can\u2019t say for sure. Both sides appear to have sound arguments. And as you know, though our team can assume human shape forms, we haven\u2019t been given mind-reading abilities as others among you have. So, we can\u2019t get into their brains.\u201d The council adjourned and pondered as to whether to put America on a \u201cno visit ever\u201d list. After much discussion they concluded that such an action seemed too harsh for themselves, a civilization with a belief in civility and respect for opposing perspectives. One council member speaking for the group said, \u201cAmericans haven\u2019t learned. And may never learn. But we need to give them another chance. Put them down for a visit in five centuries. Let\u2019s hope they\u2019ve progressed.\u201d To which another council member interjected, \u201cAssuming they\u2019re still around then.\u201d Juan A. Negroni, a former international business executive and Weston resident, is a consultant, bilingual speaker\/facilitator, and writer. His column appears monthly in Hearst Media. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.