Taking A Second Look At The National Divide

We tend to think of the national divide as being between Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives, or the highly educated and the poorly educated, or city folks vs. country folks, or minorities against whites, but there may be a better way to see the divide — folks of cooperation vs. folks of confrontation.

The overwhelming attraction of reality TV is confrontation, and Trump being a confrontational human being at heart made his TV reality show, The Apprentice, highly successful among folks who grove on watching confrontation. Folks that I contend went on to become the phony Donald’s most ardent supporters.

Obviously Trump understands this dynamic of his core base, and he plays to it every chance he gets, exhibiting his rude, confrontational nature — lock her up; get that guy out of here; I could shoot someone in Time Square and my supporters wouldn’t care; in the old days they would carry that guy out on a stretcher — nastiness on parade.

And so we have slightly over a third of our nation for whom the notion of one’s better angels does not resonate. They want to see America elbow its way though the world any way it can, as if international affairs were just another reality show. What they seem oblivious to, or just don’t give a darn, is that this reality show has humankind-ending nukes on hair trigger alert.

For decade’s thoughtful men like President George H. W. Bush used force when needed alongside of every once of cooperation they could muster to help keep the world safe. At present it would appear that 60 percent of America’s rational, serious and most thoughtful citizens wish to continue down this path while the crude remainder want to follow our current bull in the china shop president in a real world version of confrontational reality TV. For perhaps the first time in the modern era trying to raise the charter of the nation’s citizens has not been a president’s top priority. Indeed, with this current president feeding the beast of confrontation red meat seems to fit his skills and dark nature perfectly fine, as well as those on the negative side of the national divide.

Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis — a great book that looks at another dangerous period for America. Please check it out.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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