Battle formations, no prisoners taken.

What now seems to be our nation’s destiny is to be sharply divided, even within our truly exceptional nation (our being an exception perhaps the only thing we do still agree about).

Over the issues we are hopelessly  divided. Over such as  the President himself (does he ever tell the truth?),  Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Immigration, Healthcare, Global Warming, Free Trade and Tariffs, Tax Cuts (these going to the richest among us), the Minimum Wage, Housing, Pharmaceutical,  and College Costs, (the need to fix a) Crumbling Infrastructure, and (the size of the) National Debt, to name the principal few that come to mind.

And I haven’t even mentioned the most divisive issues of all:  voting rights, religious freedom, same sex marriage, abortion, and the rights of LGBTQ people.

Our failure to satisfactorily  handle these and other such differences is driving what seems an insurmountable wedge or chasm between us. The irony is, of course, that we know what to do. The solution is staring us in the face, and that is to find a middle ground, a compromise somewhere between the extremes. But today regarding too many of the issues, much as in the time leading up to the Civil War, there seems no acceptable compromise out there between the opposing viewpoints.Almost everything seems like war or no war, to kill or not to kill the baby. No compromise to be found.

Our exceptional nation is clearly no longer all that exceptional, and seems to be going into terminal decline, the way of most, if not all ancient civilizations. Instead of compromise, as between, say, the Trump haters and Trump lovers whom we see almost daily at the Trump rallies, the only choice seems to be going into battle and in battle taking no prisoners, as during the recent Kavanaugh skirmish.

Trump at the wheel of a semi.
For me the most  interesting question  is what is it that enables our truly imperfect, terribly flawed president to hold onto his base of support among the Republicans, or what may be the same thing, how has he turned the Republican Party into a tribe of Trump lovers?

Well the answer most commonly given is  the  economy. Yes, the stock market has boomed during Trump’s presidency. And yes the economy is growing, going as it were at full speed, showing in the most recent quarter an astounding 4.2% growth. And yes, unemployment is down to 3.7 percent, also astounding. Although there is also in the economy some wobbling as the President’s trade wars take a toll. Also over 80 percent of the bullish stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans. And most important Trump’s economy doing well  is not lifting all boats.

Here follows a good example of what I’m talking about, the sharp divisions between us. For this I take several replies  from the hundreds of comments that followed David Gelernter’s recent op ed piece, “The Real Reason They Hate Trump.” (Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”) Gelernter in his op ed argues that Trump “is an average, a typical American,” and that “what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America.” This defense of Trump is the logical endpoint and the moral nadir of decades of right-wing anti-intellectualism. It’s a fact that the liberal and intellectual coast elites cannot stomach the ignorant, screaming God and Country patriots, pseudo conservatives, of Rural and Middle America. I know I can’t.

Trump Haters

“This is utter nonsense.  The average American is decent, while Trump shows no sense of decency whatsoever, and never has had any.  To say someone hates Trump because he/she hates the average American is ridiculous.  Sean

The average American is not a pathological liar or a shameless sociopath who was born on third base and claims to have hit a triple. The average American does not lack empathy or seek to divide people for their own benefit. The average American is not racist, homophobic or xenophobic and does not stoke fear of their neighbor for their own political gain. The average American does not cheat, steal and repeatedly declare bankruptcy to escape their horrible investment decisions while claiming to be a business genius. The average American does not grab women by the p—-y and brag about sexual assault. The average American does not repeatedly cheat on their spouse (after giving birth to their child) and then lie about it and pay hush money to cover it up. The average Americans I know do not respect or condone the abhorrent behavior and moral bankruptcy that is Donald Trump, regardless of their party affiliation. Don>/p>

Let me just ask the esteemed computer scientist, why did you completely ignore very important conservatives, like myself, who opposed Trump? The best minds in the conservative world can’t stand our current President, because he is a boor, because he is ignorant, and because he is reversing 70 years of very smart foreign policy. I appeal to the editors of the Wall Street Journal to ignore Gelernter from now on. —Elliot

I hate Trump because of his racism, sexism, and corruption.  The stock market can’t go up enough to make up for all the swastikas being drawn on Jewish cemeteries.  We know that the white nationalists are feeling empowered by Trump because they tell us that themselves.  —Sam

Trump Lovers

Great article.  Thank you David.  I will respectfully add one thing.  I have tons of very well-educated, white-collar friends and clients who, like me, proudly support President Trump.   His appeal is universal to all patriotic Americans who love our country and the principles upon which it was founded.  Freedom and opportunity for all. Trump may be the only president we have had who actually does what he says.  Lies?? No follows through on his what he says.  Exaggerates a little maybe.  Brings out his base because he does what America needs done.  He doesn’t apologize for being blunt and calling out misreporting.  He is as the article says, and yes I would like to have him as a friend and golf partner. — FP Trump gets stuff done, in sharp contrast to Obama.  He makes Obama look completely incompetent. —William Luckily he was hired to put America back on track after the Clinton, Bush, Obama years.    And he is doing it.    He was not hired for his good looks or his personality or its negative attributes.    Wow is he fixing stuff though. —Mike

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