There is a lot of talk these days about how the country is "polarized," as though we are simply in a period in which we all just really disagree with each other on most of the vital issues of the day. This is an oddly comforting formulation, because we all know that periods of polarization pass, and that, somewhere out there is a consensus within which we all eventually will abide. I think it's much more serious than that. I think it's much more serious even than calling our divisions "tribalist," which seems to be the adjective du jour these days. I think we are looking at an 1850's of the political mind. I think we are two countries, each with its own history, and laws, and language, and religion, and their own mass media to amplify all those things. But only one of these two countries of the mind is tightly organized and capable of moving as a single unit. I think things like the sovereign-citizens movement are merely a particularly vivid example of this.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Piercing the Great Divide
My man Charles P. Pierce with a new post today that, without saying so, returns to his formulation of a few years back featuring what he called "Idiot America." He doesn't use that language today but his point is actually more serious, as it suggests that in the years since he coined the term that "America" has really coalesced and we really are two separate nations now, and it scares him. His jumping off point is the latest "domestic terror" shootings tied to the rightwing "Sovereign Nation" (which I covered here last week), then pivots to: