Are the fractures and divisions in America today worse today than they were in the 1960s? In the 1960s no one questioned whether Vietnam existed or claimed that the military casualties were really crisis actors. No one claimed that China and Venezuela had manipulated the presidential election. No one claimed that lizard people were behind the student protests. No one claimed that Henry Kissinger tortured babies to stay young.
Divisions based in reality can heal. Real world consequences of policies can be taken into account, new facts added to the discussion; opinions can change, policies can be altered. How do you even talk to those who believe in lizard people and are convinced that a now-dead Venezuelan set in motion a plot to take over the entire electoral process in the United States?
Especially when a hefty chunk of the people in elected office believe the imaginary things, and another hefty chunk of them believe the imaginary things for reasons of personal gain/ambition. Now mix in multiple media outlets devoted to convincing their audience that the imaginary is real, and the real is merely an elaborate hoax designed to deceive them.
There is a difference between viewing your opponents as naïve, insensitive, greedy, or misguided, and viewing them as supernatural demons bent on destroying all that is good while eating you and your children alive.
2021’s fractures and divisions extend down into the bedrock that keeps the nation from falling into the molten core below.
Lee Russ, Bennington