Which side are you on?

The lines are drawn in
America—that much is clear. There ain’t no middle ground anymore. You’re on one
side, or the other.

How did we get to such
a bleak place?

The cause is Donald J.
Trump. It may be true that we’ve been inching closer to this point for years,
but we weren’t really shoved into the breach until Trump decided to take a
wrecking ball to America. Trump therefore was the tipping point. Everything
prior was before. Everything since is afterward—is now.

In
my lifetime I’ve seen the gap between the two sides grow ever more pronounced.
Our two-party system is by definition adversarial. Washington famously warned
against the formation of political parties: in his Farewell Address he said: “[Political
parties] may now and then answer popular ends, [but] they are likely in the
course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning,
ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the
people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying
afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Washington
could not have known how his description of “cunning, ambitious, and
unprincipled men…usurping for themselves the reins of government”
would
describe a future rogue president, Trump.

By
the time of the second president, John Adams, two political parties already had
formed, and so it has been ever since, with the occasional appearance of a
minor third party. Probably it was inevitable: the only countries that don’t
have political parties are one-party authoritarian dictatorships. Political
rivalry is hard-wired into the DNA of democracies.

Our
two parties got along with each other, for the most part, most of the time, the
exception obviously being the Civil War; and that was not so much a fight
between parties as between sections of the country. Except for that unhappy
period, the parties managed to find a modus operandi by which they could
co-exist in relative peace, although the rhetoric could get pretty harsh.

I
grew up in the post-World War II era, in a Democratic household in which I was
taught to regard Republicans as little better than the nazis we had recently
defeated. Suffice it to say we didn’t hold Republicans in much esteem—and vice
versa!

The
1950s, 1960s and 1970s, though, were pretty normal, as far as inter-party
relations went. Yes, there was the Watergate scandal, which resulted in Nixon’s
impeachment, but that, I think, was not particularly partisan. Nixon behaved
abhorrently, and even his own Republican Party eventually realized it, and
acted accordingly.

We
began to reach the edge of the cliff in the late 1970s and 1980s. That’s when an
unholy alliance was arranged between evangelicals (Jerry Falwell and Pat
Robertson, in particular) and the Republican National Committee. Prior to that,
all political parties tended to see evangelicals for what they are: deplorable
wingnuts, barely American in the sense the Founders envisioned. But activists
like Lee Atwater, who was instrumental in helping get Reagan elected, saw that
evangelicals could be a potent political force for Republicans. As for the
evangelicals, who had traditionally been apolitical, they decided to become
political whores, or were talked into it by their pimping pastors. A shotgun
marriage was arranged. The offspring—diseased and debased—is today’s Republican
Party.

And
so here we are. Democrats could not stand aside in good conscience and watch
this diabolic mélange of evangelicals and reactionary Republicans rape and
pillage the country. I honestly believe that Democrats did not, and do not,
want this fight. It was forced upon us, the way we had to respond to Japan
bombing Pearl Harbor by fighting back. When the Republican Party allowed the
evangelical party a seat at the table, Democrats realized we had to act. That
was the seed of The Resistance to Trump.

Could
Democrats have avoided this…


Source : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/steveheimoff/YKZT/~3/_-L20oi–eM/

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