The problem is that democracy is something of an unnatural and very delicate process easily exploited by demagogues. Yes, it is true that when Democrats thoughtfully work for the benefit of all Americans the Republican Party works full time on devising winning schemes and firing up negative tribal impulses to their tactical advantage.

Though the efforts of first Newt Gingrich and Fox News, the nation’s malcontents have been unified into a single party with a loud voice to be exploited by the rich and powerful. Yes, the right wing discovered that there was big money to be made and power to be gained by playing to the xenophobic hardwiring of egocentric Whites. As it has been said, hate is the most powerful of unifying agents and Republicans have become the masters of managing that emotion.

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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