I read the other day that the great swath of people who characterize themselves as politically independent is vastly exaggerated. The number of people who don't lean one way or another is down to about seven percent.
So if you harbor the impression that things are getting increasingly nasty and vituperative politically, you are probably right. The partisan split has never felt wider in my lifetime. The left views the right as a bunch of tree hating nazi racists and the right sees the left as a cadre of gun grabbing communists who want everything handed to them for free.
There are many reasons for the division, you are smart enough to figure them out, the current president is not the necessary cause of the disease but merely a symptom. Both sides feel victimized, both are comfortably ensconced in their own private social media and national media echo chambers and the rocks and arrows are flying left and right at a fever pitch.
Our political system certainly contributes its share to the problem. Centrists and moderates from both sides get primaried out, the louder voices from the wings demanding ideological purity and having an unwillingness to compromise. The middle is not a safe and happy place to be anymore. The electoral college was created to keep the majority from dictating to the minority, but I wonder if the founders ever conceived that instead the reverse could happen? Why does a single vote from New York or California have such a small political impact relative to a vote from Wyoming?
This unfair demonization of bi-coastal urban areas is, I believe, feeding the inherent racial animus we now see emerging in our country, the rural white red states are not going to let a bunch of liberal city minority types tell them what they can or not do, socially or in any other way. With an increasing minority demographic projected, rural folks are scared and you see more and more GOP states working to dilute the voting rights and power of hispanic and black voters, through a host of deceptive chicanery and sleight of hand to make voting more difficult and purge the voting rolls.
Try as they might, they just can't find even hundreds of illegal voters, let alone millions. But no matter, it is about framing and perception and fear. I have a lot I want to spill on this and many other subjects but I think I will wait a day and stay chill.
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