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This election showed how closely – and bitterly – divided Americans are. Suppose we go through another 2000 cliff-hanger one day?
Increasingly, we don’t just hold different views and opinions from our opponents. We hold them in contempt. We call them ignorant, bigoted, fascistic, communistic, unpatriotic and un-America. We question a winner’s very legitimacy.
Democrats do their share of the demonizing, but there is something about President Obama – and the coalition that elected him – that brings out a particularly dark and disturbing reaction. Some nuts talk of revolution and secession.
As Rob Christensen noted in his column Sunday, we’ve “sorted” ourselves into two parties that are “more partisan and more attuned to their most ideological wings.”
We’ve also sorted ourselves out geographically – in the neighborhoods and even the states where we live.
The result is a presidential election that is decided in a handful of swing states, while the majority of states are reliably and overwhelmingly red or blue.
This only increases the chances of a Bush-Gore replay: it all coming down to a handful of contested votes in one state. And at a time where, despite all our technology, our election machinery grows creaky, slow and increasingly open to challenge.
What if that had happened this time? What if it had all come down to Florida again?
What a field day the conspiracists, secessionists and extremists would have!
You’d like to think Americans would resist those calls to paranoia, overreaction and even violence. Would we?


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2 comments on “What If It's Close Again?

  1. dap916 says:

    There are just so many…na presentations these days from democratic political pundits and activists just exactly like what you’ve presented here. One thing is for sure, this country is more divided right now than ever in our history. It’s not because one political party has won over the other or which party has the reigns of command and power in America. It’s a philosophical difference FAR different than all of the “talking points” that are making their way around the blogosphere and in the left-leaning media sites.

    Gary, if you’re truly excited about the direction our country is taking, then fine. People like me believe that B. Franklin’s quote has come to pass and THIS is at the heart of our division in this country:

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

  2. Carbine says:

    Again, I can only wonder in amazement as a man who has dedicated his life to dividing and demonizing his fellow Americans (and made, and continues to make, a good living at it in the bargain) bemoans the divisiveness and demonization inherent in the system he did so much to help create.

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