Whatever a person’s nationality, bipartisan politics arouse strong passions so people everywhere can attest to those fiery familial exchanges over the dinner table.
Okay, so this example is not the best, nor does it explain the level of animosity between American nationals who hate one another all because of different political allegiances straight down the line.
For Americans it is not just about politics, maybe it never was, but at least it used to be that people had more in common in this area than they had differences but now the gulf is just too wide.
Those from politically volatile climates thought Americans lucky; they seemed to have achieved an equanimity that afforded them the luxury of arguing over nuances in domestic politics and policies.
This impression probably just scratched the surface and time has shown this was not necessarily a true reflection of the way things were.
Social observers point to Americans’ strange traits; they are quick to take offence and never forget what they perceive as a slight, be that from a neighbor or from someone with an opposing view.
They will indignantly recall something or other George Bush said in 1995 for example, stranger still they internalize everything ever said which makes politics, among other things, very, very personal.
Coined phrases like micro-transgressions and oppressions should be a huge clue.
What sets its citizens apart is the constant brooding over advantages they deem others have had at their expense, except it now goes by the name of privilege.
Identity politics is the bedrock of this belief in all its rivaled glory.
Clearly, the American Dream turns into the American Nightmare when opportunity doesn’t knock but passes on by with the fallout resentment.
Hidden but bubbling frustrations only needed a spark to ignite the fires of conflict, some would argue this was the 2016 Trump election victory, others say it went further back to the presidencies of Obama, Clinton, Bush or Reagan.
There is another reason, Fifty-five years ago, the sexual revolution landed and in the ensuing years, radicals were peeved they did not get to accomplish the goal of complete transformation of American society.
In the not too-distant past, political debates use to make space for respect and compromise.
By the Clinton years, this dynamic had started to shift at the elite level, but members of the two political parties had not yet sorted themselves by fundamental differences in worldview.
Political scientist Hetherington said. “It’s the marriage of worldview and partisanship that creates this toxicity to politics.
It’s a volatile marriage, to say the least.”
Sociologists agree the main problem is Americans have lost a shared sense of national identity.
Forget different party political differences it is down to conflicting views about society, a separate understanding of reality with no overlapping worldviews.
Two different worldviews are contained in each party and never shall the twain meet, call it political tribalism by another name.
As someone said, when people hate each other so much they will resist everything, even information that is beneficial, or revealing.
A Post Modernist view from the progressive side of the political fence that truth is unknowable is convenient when rejecting facts about opponents you don’t like, while giving plenty of wiggle room for the team, adds fuel to the fire.
Topics like abortion, immigration and LGBT special rights have turned politics into a moral litmus test.
Take abortion, legalized in the Seventies, the emphasis has moved from one of personal choice, as in pro-choice, to only one possible moral choice, that of pro-abortion.
If one is pro-life, that is, anti-abortion, by implication you are immoral for implying that women should give birth against their will, denying their right to access, and are a forced birther.
Talk radio, partisan news websites and mainstream media dominate which feeds into this political toxicity making the quest for independent neutral information that much more difficult.
Just when you thought Americans have more divisions than any one country needs, there’s the religious chasm.
Polls show a majority of Evangelical Christians voted for Trump pitting them against mainline Christianity, or so-called liberal Christians.
The thing is these liberal Christians align with progressive politics to a tee, so its really a case of six of the one and half a dozen of the other.
In other words pot calls kettle…..
Except they don’t see it see it this way, …….. at all.
They on the right side of history, if not the political right, and it’s all that matters.