Seeing red, feeling blue
THE WEEK|November 15, 2020
The deep-seated divide in the US has come to the fore this election, threatening its identity as a democratic republic
MILAN SIME MARTINIC

The US election did provide one clear result: America is as deeply divided as it has been since the Civil War. The presidential outcome was so close in so many states that a final decision might take weeks and be mired in Trump-style litigation that might return an unpalatable outcome. There is one thing that is certain, though. Whoever wins will preside over two Americas, one red, one blue. No stars. No stripes.

They are exhausted from the process, but those two Americas are not in brotherly love. They are siblings at war. Small battles play out on social media each month, long-time friends unfriend each other on Facebook over political differences. Not only do they not want to know each other’s point of view; they no longer want to know each other.

To be sure, this started during the Obama years, but Donald Trump set it on warp speed, accelerating the process to the point that it has rolled back the long and caring process of reconciliation and integration started at Reconstruction. Today, hostility, racism and bigotry are out in the open, and hate and fear are in the air.

In this climate, came the presidential election to save the day, perhaps reconcile the two camps by showing the other just how out of touch they were with the rest of the country. It did just the opposite.

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