Ever since the recent U.S. Presidential election, the distance between the voting public seems to have widened.
One side sees the President as essentially illegitimate — the other side sees those who voted against the President as basically disloyal.
The differences are a chasm, with vastly different views of where the country is going.
Nor is this a ‘new’ phenomenon.
Alexis De Tocqueville, a brilliant political scientist who penned the classic work, Democracy in America, visited the U.S. and was struck by the distances between American political parties. De Tocqueville wrote:
The parties by which the Union is menaced do not rest upon abstract principles, but upon temporal interests.
These interests, disseminated in the provinces of so vast an empire, may be said to constitute rival nations rather than parties .
De Tocqueville, writing in the early 1830s, foresaw the coming of the U.S. Civil War, and this some 30 years before the first blow was struck at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861.
The parties that exist today are different political animals, but they still stand in contention against each other.
Bipartisanship is but a mirage, as each side fights for supremacy, and ultimately, for Power.
China’s modern-day founding father, Mao Zedong (1893-1976), once wrote that “Politics is war without bloodshed.”
When we look at recent events in Washington, we may have to rethink that idea.