Why is America so divided? I read the reader letter to the Atlantic (below) and it got me asking all over again about the deep divisions and mistrust in America, as is more than amply seen here in the Flob. To an outsider from a country where guns are tools essentially for feral animals, and only lunatics, cops and criminals keep them for self defence, it astonishes me to think that otherwise sane people purchase firearms or consider it normal to carry a knife. But clearly, such is the deep distrust that runs through the US.
I’m currently reading a great book on the Kennedy years and the constant theme is the contempt and fighting between the conservative old guard and the younger elected and appointed officials. The distrust ran exceptionally deep, with otherwise sane people in the Kennedy admin from both sides having seriously considered the possibility of a military coup.
In this recent presidential campaign the forces of deep distrust are again at full bloom, with the Repubs in particular playing hard on Obama’s ethnicity, and dragging up the insane possibility that the man is somehow a terrorist, or at the most generous, has an agenda that is opposed to the interests of the majority of that country’s people.
is it the case as was outlined in the article that prompted the letter below, a continuation of the culture wars of the Vietnam era, or are the roots to all of these as deep as the “Civil” war?
[quote]30 Oct 2008
The End Of America’s Longest War?
A reader writes:
Earlier this week, in your post “The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama”, you wrote under Point 4: “A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.”
On the one hand I agree with you; on the other hand, you don’t go nearly far enough. An Obama presidency means much more than a truce in the 60’s culture war. It means the end of a much older and more terrible war, in which the 60’s was merely one battle: the American Civil War. That is what is at stake here. [/quote]
More importantly, does anyone really believe that an Obama victory will put to rest this deep distrust? If not, what is the logical conclusion to this level of avowed hatred and distrust?