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Saturday, November 24, 2012

 
Two Americas

by David Atkins

Charles Blow breaks the silence and says what many are thinking but dare not say:

The gap is growing between liberals and conservatives, the rich and the not rich, intergenerational privilege and new-immigrant power, patriarchy and gender equality, the expanders of liberty and the withholders of it. And that gap, which has geographic contours — the densely populated coastal states versus the less densely populated states of the Rocky Mountains, Mississippi Delta and Great Plains — threatens the very concept of a United States and is pushing conservatives, left quaking after this month’s election, to extremes...

As Monica Davey reported in The New York Times on Friday, starting in January, “one party will hold the governor’s office and majorities in both legislative chambers in at least 37 states, the largest number in 60 years and a significant jump from even two years ago.”

As the National Conference of State Legislatures put it, “thanks to an apparent historic victory in Arkansas, Republicans gained control of the old South, turning the once solidly Democratic 11 states of the Confederacy upside down.” Arkansas will be the only one of these states with a Democratic governor.

As Davey’s article pointed out, single-party control raises “the prospect that bold partisan agendas — on both ends of the political spectrum — will flourish over the next couple of years.” But it seems that “both ends of the political spectrum” should not be misconstrued as being equal. Democrats may want to expand personal liberties, but Republicans have spent the last few years working feverishly to restrict them...

We are moving toward two Americas with two contrasting — and increasingly codified — concepts of liberty. Can such a nation long endure?

I don't know the answer. Obviously, demographics are changing the equation somewhat. But the notion that the Republican Party will moderate itself to win national elections is a pipe dream. Things are going to get much worse on that side of the aisle long before they get better--if they ever do.


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