These days Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas. Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources, and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood. It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.
To be clear, not all of America is divided into these hostile camps. Even as partisan polarization has deepened, more Americans are choosing to eschew party labels. This group is heavily populated by the young, many of whom are turned off by the cage match of modern politics. They are America’s most liberal generation by far, but when asked to name their party, nearly half say they are independents. No generation in history has ever been so allergic to a party label.
There seems to be a good deal of this, too much, that translates into Canada's political chasm. We might profit from keeping an eye on just what is happening in the U.S. and then finding ways to staunch it here.