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Gender: Female
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Member since: Thu Aug 25, 2011, 03:33 PM
Number of posts: 5,922

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Thoughts about the holiday

Today, I read Robert Reich's and Heather Cox Richardson's Fourth-of-July essays, which came in, one late last night, and one very early this morning. In a way they say the same thing in different words. And in a way, both are wrong - not in the wrong direction, but not going far enough. It was this that struck me in Richardson's piece (referencing the Gettysburg Address): "the Civil War was 'testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.' It did, of course." No. It didn't. The same issues which divided us in 1776 and 1865 and 1964 have never gone away. We just managed to push them underground for a few years (a trifle longer the second time). And Trump** did not bring them to a boil. They were always at a boil. All he did was give the wrong side permission to speak.

If we are ever going to heal this divide, we have to do more than trying harder, because that isn't working. The most recent time around (the 1960s), psychology had become a science, and there have been all kinds of psychological studies about perceptions which have provided new information about the states of mind of Americans - but not one (and no combination) has given any insight into what to do to make it go away. Now, again, some states are talking about seceding. And some progressives are saying (and more are secretly thinking) perhaps we should let it happen (at least some of us are talking about the need to rescue sane people from the departing states, and how difficult that would be.) We already have a Civil War on our hands now - right now. It's not yet a shooting war. But that doesn't mean it won't be. And way too few appear to realize it.

Oddly, it may be Steve Schmidt who puts it the most clearly: "Then [the beginning of the Civil War, speaking of Congress] like now, there were some who looked at the empty desks and saw crisis in the absence not [in] the cause of the absence." But I wish I could share his optimism.

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