To my mind, America has officially become a split personality country. Two completely different minds living inside the same body. What’s even worse is that the two sides see one another as mortal enemies. They’d kill one another off if they didn’t share vital organs.
We veered in this direction after the 2000 election. Democrats felt an enormous amount of animosity toward the Supreme Court handing George Bush the presidency based on what seemed, to us, like partisan opinion. But Al Gore stepped forward and conceded graciously, advising his followers to do the same. Most of us did so, although not without a certain amount of lingering resentment.
Then came 9/11 and that changed everything. We threw off our philosophical differences and united as Americans. We’d been attacked. George Bush was our president and we would stand with him.
Of course, the situation deteriorated again with time. Most Democrats saw the end of the Bush administration with huge relief. We were elated when Obama won.
But, the crack in our political personalities became a crevasse and the crevasse became the Grand Canyon. If you read Facebook, you will see we already have something of a civil war going on in the U.S. So far, it is only a war of words but “guns” is one of the most prominent of those words. So is impeachment. So is treason.
I wondered if we would have a bit of a 9/11 moment after the Boston bombings – a kind of a “we need to pull together” flash of enlightenment. It didn’t happen. In fact, the conservatives doubled down. In their eyes, Obama was not just incompetent regarding terrorism (which would be laughable coming from the party whose president presided over the largest terrorist attack in our nation’s history), he was complicit. He caused, or at least encouraged, it to happen. Because he aims to use it as an excuse to take our guns ... and when that’s done, he wants to turn our entire country over to the Muslims! He isn’t really an American, you know. He’s a secret Islamic mole who has penetrated to the very top of our government and no one is smart enough to see what’s going on ... or else they’re in it with him. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Hagel and John Kerry are not blowing the whistle because ... because why? What would their motive possibly be to help Barack Obama give America over to Islam? (And if Barack loves Muslims so much, why is he droning them?) What’s in it for Hillary and John and Chuck and all the other people who have given their entire lives to serving America? Not one conservative writer or thinker has yet explained that to me in a way that makes sense.
I’m 66 and I’ve never seen it like this in America before. I have no idea what will eventually happen or what could possibly occur to heal the breach. It used to be democracy was the answer. We voted. Someone won. The losers fussed and grumbled about how wrong the party in power was getting it.
But, we seem to have lost our faith in democracy.
We seriously need the assistance of a national psychiatrist to help us integrate our personalities.
Vicki Williams is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached through the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.