If you stare into the dumpster fire that is current U.S. politics for more than a few seconds, it starts staring back with crazy eyes. Not to mention tweeting, counter-tweeting, polemicising and viewing-with alarm.
Alarm is not unwarranted. This country is dealing with a degree of open division unmatched since the run-up to the Civil War. When the population of a country becomes so at odds with one another, bad things can follow -- except, possibly, in Canada; when I was much younger, an independent Quebec seemed inevitable. Somehow they evitated.
Americans are not Canadians. Nobody here's much inclined to say, "Sorr-rey," and try to patch things up. And the loudest voices are yammering at everyone to pick a side.
Really, we don't like to pick sides; historically, we have done so with great reluctance. The United States was late to join both World Wars and staved off our own Civil War until it boiled over. The war in Vietnam muddled along precisely because of waffling. Is our present mess about to bubble over?
Say what you wish about our current President -- you will anyway, after
all -- but the man has a tendency to pour gasoline on fires that would
be better extinguished. He's the most visible but he's not at all alone. People spat over which group is pushing division the hardest, farthest and/or loudest, much like children trying to blame a fight on one another. It takes two (or more!) to tango and a hell of a lot of people on all sides are walking around with a rose in their teeth, an ear cocked to the distant beat. Drums or cannon? I can't yet be sure.
With all its flaws, we've got a nice country here. Break it and it won't go back together easily, if at all.
4 months ago