In 1858 Abraham Lincoln was fighting for his state's Republican nomination for the US Senate. Some believe that Lincoln foretold the calamity that awaited America, its most bloody war ever, just three years hence.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
America today is again a house divided against itself. It's said the rift dividing left from right is wider and deeper than it has been since Lincoln uttered those words. The American people are being herded into rival camps and fed a diet rich in fear, anger, distrust, even paranoia. What better way to keep a population weakened and ineffective.
How divided are the American people today? That's the subject of a new, major study by Pew Research that explores America's political typology and finds not only deep divisions between the two sides but deep divisions within them. The report, based on lengthy interviews with 5,000 subjects concludes that Americans fall into nine categories:
In effect, both sides are fractured and there are political struggles underway in each camp.
Nearly a year after Donald Trump was elected president, the Republican coalition is deeply divided on such major issues as immigration, America’s role in the world and the fundamental fairness of the U.S. economic system.
The Democratic coalition is largely united in staunch opposition to President Trump. Yet, while Trump’s election has triggered a wave of political activism within the party’s sizable liberal bloc, the liberals’ sky-high political energy is not nearly as evident among other segments in the Democratic base. And Democrats also are internally divided over U.S. global involvement, as well as some religious and social issues.
Another Pew study found that American society is becoming more polarized. Fewer Americans now hold a mix of Liberal and Conservative views.
Reflecting growing partisan gaps across most of the individual questions in the scale – even those where both parties have shifted in the same direction – Republicans and Democrats are now further apart ideologically than at any point in more than two decades.
The Washington Post reports that the Empire is about to strike back. Establishment Republicans, headed by Mitch McConnell, are going after Trump's favourite insurgent, Steve Bannon.
More than a year ahead of the 2018 congressional contests, a super PAC aligned with McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed plans to attack Bannon personally as it works to protect GOP incumbents facing uphill primary fights. The effort reflects the growing concern of Republican lawmakers over the rise of anti-establishment forces and comes amid escalating frustration over President Trump’s conduct, which has prompted a handful of lawmakers to publicly criticize the president.
Yet the retaliatory crusade does not aim to target Trump, whose popularity remains high among Republican voters. Instead, the McConnell-allied Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) will highlight Bannon’s hard-line populism and attempt to link him to white nationalism to discredit him and the candidates he will support. It will also boost candidates with traditional GOP profiles and excoriate those tied to Bannon, with plans to spend millions and launch a heavy social media presence in some states.
May the Swamp be with you.