Can We TRANSCEND the Brewing US Civil War?

EDITORIAL, 23 Nov 2020

#668 | Diane Perlman, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

“If only a worldwide consciousness could arise that all division and fission are due to the splitting of opposites in the psyche, then we should know where to begin.”
― C.G. Jung

A civil war is brewing in the US as Trump’s unprecedented assaults on democracy set landmines yet to explode.

How did we get to this point of the pathological splitting of the opposites? What does the Transcend Method offer us now?

Splitting of US Political Culture

In my youth, at 6:30pm, US households watched the evening news on ABC, NBC, or CBS TV with calm, avuncular anchors like Walter Cronkite.

Since 1996, Roger Ailes with Rupert Murdoch shaped FOX News, appealing to those who felt left out of the mainstream. FOX prematurely called the 2000 election for Bush. Ailes brilliantly exploited and sensationalized the 9/11/2001 attacks and gave a platform for fundamentalists like Attorney General John Ashcroft in the Bush/Cheney administration, legitimizing extremist voices that were formerly marginalized. FOX became number one, identified with the Republican Party.

The 2003 US invasion of Iraq fueled outrage and cries from the left to “take our country back.”

Despite Trump’s attempts to delegitimize Obama, his election, experienced as a humiliating defeat, provoked backlash, the emergence of the Tea Party, and cries from the right to “take our country back.” Non-college educated whites felt threatened. Immigrants were blamed and “otherized,” paving the way for Trumpism.

Social media evolved, reinforcing fragmented silos, driving opposites farther apart, giving rise to extremist groups like Antifa, QAnon, and Neo Nazis groups like Proud Boys.

Antifa, Election Night, November 3, 2020, 11:30 PM 16th Street DC towards Black Lives Matter Plaza.

COVID-19, infuses existing splits with intense emotions, amplifying mistrust of government and fear of tyranny. Terror management theory states that mortality salience provokes more extremism.

The police murder of George Floyd triggered a quantum leap, driving multitudes, including young whites into the streets for peaceful protests, elevating Black Lives Matter (BLM). Rare violent acts dominated FOX News. Mob rule was conflated with the Democratic base. Racial tensions and calls to “Defund Police” sparked moral outrage. FOX magnified every appearance of unrest.

Black Lives Matter rallies on Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House June, 2020

Before the election, Trump, in Machiavellian fashion, brilliantly created a compelling illusion for his base to believe that he could only lose if the election was rigged. They believe he won by millions and they were cheated by the elites, generating political hysteria. 75% of the 73 million who voted for Trump believe that Biden’s election was fraudulent.

When FOX called the election in Arizona for Biden, with some anchors reporting that there was no voter fraud, Trump loyalists erupted in rage. Believing FOX “sold out” many Trumpists switched to more extreme Newsmax and One America. Feeling unfairly censored by social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, they turned to extremist app Parler, Extremists’ ratings spiked.  Trump marchers now chant, “FOX News sucks!”  They feel that they’re fighting an enemy determined to destroy America, and their rage feels righteous to them.

Figure 1: Galtung’s Violence Triangle*******************

Figure 2: Galtung’s Triangle Redrawn

The Archetypal Realm and the Cult of Personality

Trump has built a cult of personality. He creates an alternate reality through his rallies and his uncanny genius at tuning into people’s grievances and sense of humiliation and making them feel better about themselves. His crowds chanted, “Super Trump” after is recovery from COVID-19.

11/14/20 Million MAGA March Washington DC

Since Walter Cronkite, US culture has devolved from difference to splitting, causing it to descend into the primitive archetypal realm of good and evil.

Differentiation of the opposites is a function of healthy development toward higher level integration, promoting individuation and maturity. Thesis – antithesis – synthesis. Splitting is a function of pathological development. Impacted by trauma and fear, opposites split, causing a dread of integration. Leaders promoting a union of opposites (Gandhi, MLK, Sadat, and Rabin) are assassinated by those stuck in one extreme.

11/14/20 Million MAGA March

Dualism, DMA and US Deep Culture

The US two-party system, a structural conflict generator, bakes dualistic thinking into the US psyche. We mindlessly accept our party’s positions and automatically reject the other’s, without discernment.

This exemplifies Galtung’s DMA Syndrome, Dualism-Manicheism-Armageddon, dividing the world into us/them, good/evil, right/left, Democrat/Republican, in a win/lose “battle with no compromise, no transcendence, only the victory of one over the other.[i]

Jung and Galtung: The Transcendent Function and the Transcend Method

The archetypal wisdom of Galtung’s Transcend Method is supported by Jung’s theory of the Transcendent Function, considered the most significant psychological factor for mediating the opposites. “It is a natural process, a manifestation of the energy that springs form the tension of opposites.”

Jung described the method in psychoanalysis of bringing unconscious contents into dialogue with consciousness “to produce a wholly new perspective.” Jung explained that,

“It is exactly as if a dialogue were taking place between two human beings with equal rights.” 

He added that,

“From the activity of the unconscious there now emerges a new content, constellated by thesis and antithesis in equal measure and standing in a compensatory relation to both. It thus forms the middle ground on which the opposites can be united.”[ii]

Also,

“The confrontation of the two positions generates a tension charged with energy and creates a living, third thing …..  a movement out of the suspension between the opposites, a living birth that leads to a new level of being, a new situation.” P 90[iii]

“The Transcendent Function is the primary means through which reconciliation is accomplished.”[iv]

Since the Dems lost House seats and Trump received almost 74 million votes, it was a humbling experience for both sides, creating a context for dialogue as equals.

As Galtung explains, negotiation involves compromise. Neither party is satisfied, but that dialogue can produce transcendence. It requires creativity, which produces a new reality that includes and transcends the opposites.

The Galtung/TRANSCEND Conflict Diagram
TRANSCEND Method

It’s Time for Political Therapy: Applying the TRANSCEND Method

Johan Galtung conducted therapy with a couple experiencing incompatible contradictions. She was a spiritual Buddhist; he was a materialistic businessman. Applying the Transcend Method, he suggested they open a Buddhist bookstore, bridging incompatible goals, creating a new reality, fulfilling their needs.

In 1995, Galtung helped resolve a territorial conflict between Peru and Ecuador, recommending a ‘binational zone with a natural park’, attracting tourists to benefit both countries.”

Solutions require creativity, nonzero thinking to create a new reality, to include and transcend the opposites.

We can design sound policies to transcend right/left conflicts, realizing that these solutions occur in a context of an archetypal drama toward Armageddon, masterfully orchestrated by Trump, supported by cronies, enabled by silent cowards—all intent on manipulating a hysterical base in order to sabotage reconciliation.

We can address basic human needs, identify legitimate goals, address just grievances, solve real problems, and calm tensions to shift dynamics by creating compelling mediating forces and drawing energy from the extremes. As my grandmother would say, “It wouldn’t hurt.”

“The more alternatives, the less likely the violence.”
— Johan Galtung

Proposed solutions should include principles and strategies that:

  • Build a center to mediate the opposites.
  • Identify people respected and admired who can reach people.
  • Create a third category to overcome “hypocognition,”[v] the inability to have ideas for which we have no language or concepts.
  • Create a category of win-win, post partisanship, write a “Declaration of Independents” that encourages people to think for themselves.
  • Dignify people who feel insulted by elites. Stop humiliating!
  • Give people graceful, face-saving ways out.
  • Don’t blame people or politicians for past decisions. Allow and support transformation, but don’t expect it.

Reframe the Left-Right Axis

The left-right frame is compelling and seems obvious, but that is not the only way to look at things. Why should climate be a left/right issue?

Hysteria over Socialism

This is an emotionally charged, ubiquitous accusation that dominates speeches and negative ads. Most don’t know what it means, but it smacks of Venezuela and Cuba, and it frightens FOX viewers, who believe Democrats will destroy America.

Reframe socialism. Galtung spoke of a hybrid model. Come up with something new. Perhaps call it “Bothalism.”

Healthcare Policy

The Affordable Care Act, ACA, known as Obamacare was a monumental achievement.  Its name is problematic. Trump’s driving passion has been to undo every Obama policy. Republicans have tried relentlessly to repeal it. Biden will call his version “Bidencare” – bad idea.

Dems should work with Republicans to improve the policy, which should include novel policies that encourage preventive medicine, nutrition, improving immune function to reduce high rates of chronic, degenerative diseases and reduce health care costs. Then give them credit: Call it Americare.

Media Wars

FOX, MSNBC and CNN engage in destructive mutual disparagement, humiliation, and fear mongering.

Desmond Tutu said,

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.  We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

 Media incitement is where many are falling in.

FOX plays to the grievances of those who feel forgotten and humiliated. MSNBC and CNN play to elites and some minorities oblivious to the pain of FOX viewers, whom they insult. Each misperceives the other and rejects ideas they might agree on.

We have no calming Walter Cronkite. My fantasy is to create an appealing forum to transcend the split to save our country. All three can rebrand themselves and improve ratings – a legitimate goal. I imagine CNN as a mediator between FOX and MSNBC, renamed Collaborative Negotiation Network.

The newly branded CNN can pair hosts like Rachel Maddox and Laura Ingraham, Chris Wallace and Chris Hayes for dialogue rather than debate, to explore new ideas. A neutral party—like a political therapist—can explore a third way, identify legitimate goals of each and creative ways to meet them, reduce fear, and help people think more deeply. They can humanize each other and be entertaining. Hosts can visit each other’s shows, like a “sleepover” to reach new audiences.

We need a new cadre of Walter Cronkites, which are now found mostly on public television. Judy Woodruff is a shining example. We also need real mediators/political therapists.

Conclusion: Transcendence Is the Answer

Given that Jung considered the Transcendent Function to be the most significant factor in the psyche and given that it is the centerpiece of Galtung’s life’s work (not to mention that it’s the name of our organization), transcendence has a profound, archetypal truth fundamental to our existence, and our survival.

So why is such a basic truth so far from our collective consciousness?

Jung claimed that consciousness is a work against nature, “Opus Contra Naturum.” The splitting of opposites is the unconscious processes run amok. Recognizing what is going on is the first step in making the unconscious conscious.

As Johan teaches us—Diagnosis, Prognosis, Therapy. It’s time for political therapy.

“My name is Jordan. I am a US Veteran and I have never seen this
community more divided. We need to let the healing begin.”
Biden celebration, November 7, 2020

 

The author, Diane Perlman (left), June 6, 2020 Black Lives Matter Plaza, DC

NOTES:

[i] P 20, Webel, Galtung, Ed.  Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies

[ii] “Definitions,” Collected Works 6, par. 825.]

[iii] On Psychic Energy 1916 published 1957

[iv] On Psychic Energy 1916 published 1957

[v] “Hypocognition” Robert Levy, psychiatrist and anthropologist observed in cross-cultural study of emotions that island people in Tahiti had no words for “grief” and “sorrow,” so lacked concepts and social systems to support mourning. After loss, they described themselves as feeling “sick” or “strange.”

_____________________________________________

Diane Perlman, PhD   is a clinical and political psychologist, devoted to applying knowledge from psychology, conflict studies and social sciences to designing strategies and policies to reverse nuclear proliferation, to drastically reduce terrorism, reduce enmity, and to raise consciousness about nonviolent strategies for tension reduction and conflict transformation. She is a visiting scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, is active in Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and on the Global Council of Abolition 2000. Some of her writings can be found on her websites, www.consciouspolitics.org  and  www.SanityandSurvival.com. Email: dianeperlman@gmail.com.

 

 

 


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Nov 2020.

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13 Responses to “Can We TRANSCEND the Brewing US Civil War?”

  1. rosemerry says:

    Thanks Diane, for tackling such an important topic. A few people have written about the reasons Trump supporters have grown in number and depth of support, and it is partly because they are scorned and derided, which never helps anyone to change their ideas!!
    As soon as Trump was elected, the “Russians are to blame” saga started with Obama expelling diplomats, stealing their property and H.Clinton braying about the stolen election. Ever since, the Dems have made no attempt at allowing Trump’s few sensible ideas (reducing tensions with Russia, North Korea) to move ahead at all, and yet agree with the Repugs on helping the rich, destroying Venezuela, pretending Ukraine is a real country, idolizing Israel…… Most clear thinkers can see the future with Credit-card Joe- the “normalcy” of Obamaland which inevitably led to Trump, this time even worse.

    • Gary Steven Corseri says:

      Excellent comment from rosemerry! She is being careful, thoughtful, balanced and subtle.

      I find it a bit peculiar that a fine site like TMS, advising commentators against “ad hominem” attacks on others, would, nevertheless, feature an article which glitters with ad-hominem attacks on a man who has attempted to “drain the swamp,” despite inexorable opposition from “Deep State,” the old Military-Industrial-Complex,” Hollywood bubble-heads, elitist “educators,” et. al.. No doubt, Trump’s “style” can be abrasive. But, must our politics, analysis, journalism be focused on “style,” and “my team vs. your team”…rather than deep thinking, critical analysis, cogent examples and historical perspective?

      Maybe we can get beyond the repetition-ad-nauseum of memes and tropes–before we doom ourselves to decades of mob-rule!

    • Thanks for your comments. I am working on a piece abut Trump’s appeal to some of his supporters who feel insulted and humiliated and have tried to reach out to Dems to understand and not make them feel worse, and to take their concerns seriously. I also agree that the Dems should acknowledge some things Trump did like meeting with Kim Jung Un which reduced tensions. One of the things that led to Trump was racial backlash, the Tea Party and more. One of the principles I mention at the end is to allow people to change, but not to expect it. I don’t think things will be worse with Biden, who was not my first choice, but whatever legitimate criticism we have of his policies in the past, we should support him in evolving past them. Some is up to us.

      • My last reply was to Rosemerry.

        Gary, I think you misinterpreted the point of the article which was to apply Johan’s like work on the Transcend Method to address the dangerous splitting of the opposites. I think the two-party system and mutual contempt and compulsory rejection is a structural problem that generates conflict.

        • Gary Steven Corseri says:

          Thanks, Diane. Actually, I read your reply to Rosemerry, liking it, thinking it was a reply to both of our comments (since I had been fairly laudatory about her comment), and was somewhat surprised to read your next comment–specifically for me–which, actually, “misinterpreted” (to use your word) my interpretation.

          As a decades-long fan of Taoism, I’m all for reconciling opposites, seeing the Yin and Yang flow of life; an idea that goes back about 25 centuries to Lao Tzu.

          I agree that “the two-party system and mutual contempt and compulsory rejection is a structural problem that generates conflict.” It is absurd that a “democratic” nation of 1/3 billion diverse people should find itself structured into a two-party system of “mutual contempt and compulsory rejection.”

          But, it is not simply a “structural problem.” “Cultural violence” is as threatening and looming a danger as “structural” and “direct” violence (to use Johan’s tertiary approach to violence). But, “Cultural violence,” as it has been transmitted increasingly and egregiously, by our mass-media, academic elite, “social media” and Big Tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and others needs to get equal billing and equal attention, and no basic, linear sociological framework will provide that.

          Neither does our modern tendency to slather “the other side” with silly memes, or fat-shaming, or Trump-as-Rambo posters! Can we begin to reach above that and do some serious introspection?

          Where are the great artists of our contemporary times? A Eugene O’Neil, Arthur Miller, Bertolt Brecht to give us the cathartic experiences that would cleanse our souls so we could see the world anew? How have we been manipulated for how many years? (Oliver Stone is one of our best, and he is generally scorned by the mavens of Hollywood and the likes of the “all-the-news-that’s-fit-to-print New York Times. What, after all, is “fitness?”)

          These are mighty questions to answer. No schematics, no matter how improved and updated, will provide the quintessential answers that may prevent a cataclysmic, world-shattering 2nd Civil War.

          • Thanks for clarifying. I am a fan of Oliver Stone and agree with your point of cultural violence and big Tech, not to mention Big Pharma now. The point of the Rambo flag was to illustrate that it has become archetypal. I went to the Million MAGA March in DC and took phots and had respectful conversations with people, describing myself as independent, post partisan and said I didn’t vote for Trump. In my work now on non-college educated whites who feel humiliated, many like Trump may have ADD and poor educations and disadvantaged. You said “Where are the great artists of our contemporary times? A Eugene O’Neil, Arthur Miller, Bertolt Brecht to give us the cathartic experiences that would cleanse our souls so we could see the world anew?” That part of the subculture is also deprived of literature and education that teaches that, which makes me very sad. They understandably see the elites as snobs who look down on them – which Rosemerry was referring to, hence my point about dignity.

  2. J. Herman says:

    I think Dr. Perlman raises a lot of valid points, particularly the one presented in the title. We are on the verge of a civil war, if we haven’t already begun one. Civil War II won’t be fought in the fields the way that Civil War I was fought. Rather, it will look like the Syrian Civil War, where street battles were the norm. The militant plot to kidnap and assassinate Michigan’s Governor Whitmer seems an awful lot like the opening salvo from insurgents. Unless Biden–and we the people–can quickly deescalate the tensions that exist between the political parties, that attempted assassination won’t be the last time that extremists vote with the AR-15s.

    Dr. Perlman also makes excellent points about the news and social media. In his 1796 farewell address, George Washington warned of the “baneful effects of the spirt of party.” Long before the fragmentation of the news media and the advent of social media–which, in my opinion, is possibly the greatest foe that our democracy has ever faced–Washington recognized that political parties invite us to be our worst selves. Much like most religions, political parties ask us to turn off our rational minds. They demand group-think, and members who are not sufficiently pure are ostracized. Part of the purity test seems to be a the willing vocalization of intolerance for those on the other side of the political divide. There are certainly politicians who intentionally stoke that animosity (Gary, if you don’t think that Trump is doing precisely that, then you’re not paying attention), but I think that the rank-and-file members of political parties are often every bit as guilty of perpetuating that practice as the worst political leaders. Our Founding Fathers, including Washington, created a perpetual motion machine fueled by out basest sentiments. The two-party system is baked into the Constitution. The first-past-the-post voting system all but guarantees the creation of two parties. I’m often jealous of countries with a parliamentary democracy, but I know that’s just wishful thinking. We’re not setting aside our two-party system anytime soon.

    Even if we don’t change the basic structure of our democracy, there are many ways to reduce the gap between the parties. I’ve always been something of a Luddite when it comes to social media, but events over the past half decade have only confirmed my innate suspicions of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I think that the single smartest decision that we can make as individuals to stave off civil war is to turn our backs on social media. Those platforms are a bane for more reason than I can count, but the biggest problem in this context is that they allow extremists to amplify the messages of hate and coordinate outlets for that hate. Close your accounts! If we reject social media en mass, those tech companies will have no choice but to change the models. I’m a liberal who left his heart in San Francisco after graduating from college, but I think that the companies that were largely seeded by my alma mater right down the street from the campus I love so much are destroying democracy.

    We can also make some structural changes to turn down the national temperature and avoid Cvil War II. Gerrymandering has made extremists of our politicians (see also Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an advocate of an insane conspiracy theory that accuses Dems of literally eating babies), and it’s changing that practice doesn’t require a heavy lift. Non-partisan redistricting committees would do wonders for our union. We could consider implementing ranked choice voting, which could do away with primaries altogether. And it seems pretty clear that the Supreme Court could use some insulating against the “spirit of party.” It’s not hard to imagine scenarios that could make the court more representative of the will of the people (in a country made of a majority of liberal voters, it hardly seems reasonable that 67% of the Supreme Court justices should be conservatives. A Supreme Court made of, say, five liberal justices, five conservative justice, and five truly independent justices–rotated out at some fixed interval–would ensure less hostility related to the selection of justices. That would be a win for both sides.

    I wish that political parties was vanish along with social media, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Neither party is innocent, but I also don’t want to fall into the trap of false equivalence. As I write these words, the head of the Republican Party is actively trying to subvert democracy. That isn’t an ad hominem attack, Gary. That’s a stone cold fact. Trump is doing everything he can steal an election that wasn’t even close because he doesn’t care about democracy. He’s a proto-dictator doing his damndest to become a full-fledged dictator. And too few members of the GOP are putting county before party. That doesn’t bode well for democracy. So while I love the idea of doing away with political parties so that we can stop hating each other, I think it’s important to highlight the criminal and immoral actions of a man would be king.

    I want Trump supporters to have access to everything that they need to thrive, but I want Trump to disappear from the national scene forever. He’s a cancer on our body politic, and he cares nothing for the people who fill those arenas. I want Trump supporters to feel again the pride that they experience at those rallies, but I want the target of their devotion to be worthy. I want them to love someone who doesn’t secretly loathe them. I realize that I’ll have–to paraphrase John McCain’s famous defense of Obama–disagreements with that person on fundamental issues, but I won’t have to worry that that person will steal from my two young boys their right to vote in free and fair elections one day.

    So let the healing begin, but let’s also be honest with ourselves.

    • Thanks for your comments. Your suggestion to make the Supreme Court fair is very creative. I agree about Gerrymandering and am a strong advocate of ranked choice, instant runoff voting – which they have in some countries, and in Maine after a bad experience, that prevents the spoiler effect. You can’t have a true democracy if you end up with someone wanted by less than a majority. It may also not be a heavy lift to have proportional; representation in all states which might solve the problem of the electoral college. And I agree that people who love Trump deserve to have a figure who speaks to their needs who is not toxic. And regarding the lock of the two-party system, perhaps more and more people can be encourages to declare their independence and think for themselves, outside the boxes.

  3. We are living in a paradox … not only are we divided into two separate tribes and world views, we have been divided into two separate realities. The Democratic Party of the Clintons and Obama (and now Biden) long ago abandoned the working people for the technocracy elites, and have used identity politics to build their “rainbow alliances” — much more convenient than actually confronting the oligarchy, the military industrial complex, big pharma, agribusiness, etc. Ironically, the voters on the right abandoned neoconservatism after George W. Bush, and I actually heard Glenn Beck refer to GW Bush as a “liberal.” The Obama administration largely continued the policies of Bush (albeit with a kinder gentler nicey face) and the conservative voters’ rejection of Jeb Bush. In 2016 and in 2020, the Democrats were stuck with defending globalism and neoliberalism. However, the most important point this article makes is that there has been something missing at the center of our society, a neutral and trustworthy authority — like the aforementioned Walter Cronkite. As Dr. Perlman suggests the way forward is for “we the people” by gathering in conversations where we “rehumanize” the other side that’s been dehumanized by polarizing media to create a “sane and sacred center.” That is Galtung’s “fifth way” and a way forward.

    • Thanks for your very deep analysis of howthw Democratic Party changed and why.

      Also – Jung talks about a symbol arising from the tension of opposites – and you pick up on Walter Cronkite, whom we can think of as a symbol. Here is a good quote.

      “Standing in a compensatory relationship to both the transcendent function enables thesis and antithesis to encounter one another on equal terms. That which is capable of uniting these two. … transcends time and conflict, neither adhering to nor partaking of one side or the other, but somehow common to both and offering the possibility of a new synthesis. The word transcendent is expressive of the presence of a capacity to transcend the destructive tendency to pull (or be pulled) to one side or the other. P 151
      Samuels, Andrew, Shorter, Bani, Plaut, Fred, A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 198

      We need to build on this. Dolly Parton may be another transcendent symbol – with wide appeal across the spectrum who embodies love and is disarming. Let’s identify more symbols of transcendence.

  4. Gary Steven Corseri says:

    Thank you for your brief, and well-considered response, Steven Bhaerman. I was a great fan of Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid and other “fair and balanced” and thoughtful TV-journalists from my childhood onward. A couple of decades ago, I was a fan of Ted Koppel’s “Nightline.” Koppel could interview “left-wingers,” “right-wingers” and do so respectfully, without personal attacks, challenging them on specific points, seeking thoughtful answers to thoughtful questions. Very sadly, the United States of Theatrics is missing that deeper understanding now.

    Here’s an example of the level to which we’ve sunk now:

    “As I write these words, the head of the Republican Party is actively trying to subvert democracy. That isn’t an ad hominem attack, Gary. That’s a stone cold fact. Trump is doing everything he can steal an election that wasn’t even close because he doesn’t care about democracy. He’s a proto-dictator doing his damndest to become a full-fledged dictator. And too few members of the GOP are putting county before party. That doesn’t bode well for democracy. So while I love the idea of doing away with political parties so that we can stop hating each other, I think it’s important to highlight the criminal and immoral actions of a man would be king.”

    Excuse me, Mr. J. Herman, but Ted Koppel might dig deeper into your comment above and inquire: “Haven’t we just been through 4 years of the Democrat party doing their “damnest” to subvert our electoral process, to fasten Trump’s victory to a “Russian hoax?”

    While I can agree with Mr. Herman here: “Much like most religions, political parties ask us to turn off our rational minds. They demand group-think, and members who are not sufficiently pure are ostracized. Part of the purity test seems to be a the willing vocalization of intolerance for those on the other side of the political divide….”

    While, substantively agreeing with that, I find this ad-hominem about the level of attention I’m paying offensive: “There are certainly politicians who intentionally stoke that animosity (Gary, if you don’t think that Trump is doing precisely that, then you’re not paying attention).”

    Excuse me, Mr. Herman, but, in fact, I’ve paid very close attention to all aspects of our kaleidoscopic political spectrum for several decades. If you want to argue about any of the thousands of articles, poems, etc. that I’ve posted at TMS, Countercurrents, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice and scores of other sites–be specific, follow the rules here, and don’t engage in flimsy, gratuitous ad-hominem attacks! Enough childishness, enough puerility on all sides!

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