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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

Do Americans hate each other enough to tear the country apart?


If there's one main point Maher is making, it's that politics has taken over too much of our lives and caused way too much division — and we better turn things around before it's too late.

A few of his observations jumped out at me, but this one goes a long way in conveying Maher's concern about where we're heading in this country. "Would anyone ride the New York City subway wearing a MAGA hat, or go to a NASCAR race in a Biden T-shirt? That's where we are now," he writes. "Other parts of the country are seen as no-go zones."

This can only happen when we don't simply disagree with the other guy, but when we don't like the other guy, when we don't want to have anything to do with him. We used to live in caves and stayed close to people we knew. It made us feel safe. We kept our distance from strangers. A million-or-so years later, we've moved from caves to bubbles — safe, comfortable liberal bubbles and safe, comfortable conservative bubbles.

We read and watch the news that validates our biases and keeps us separated from the other side. And too many in the news business — for ideological reasons and for profit — are happy to pour fuel on the fire. 

We're far more comfortable socializing with people who have the same political views, who vote for the same candidates. I have a conservative friend whose progressive sister won't visit him because he lives in a red state and she lives in a blue state. No fooling!

Another friend, a long-ago prominent sports journalist and a smart, decent man, said in a casual conversation that it might be a good idea if we divided the county into two separate nations: Blue State America and Red State America. He may have simply been thinking out loud, but some people apparently are dead serious — like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) who has said that, "We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states." 

There's another name for what Greene politely calls "a national divorce." It's "civil war" — with or without the bullets. Is that actually possible, again, in this country — or is this simply the stuff of far-right loons?