Maybe it's just me, but I'm finding that this may be one of the most heated and contentious elections in recent history, and that is wild, considering the 2000 election.
There are few political discussions anywhere, at least in the tradition of give-and-take. I'm hearing a lot of heated spews about the OTHER side (not, in general, about the merits of one's candidate) and the cataclysmic consequences of letting THAT PERSON steal the election.
What on Earth is going on?
I remember when the 100-year anniversary of the Civil War was celebrated. At that time (I was 10 at the start), I couldn't get a handle on WHY people became so filled with righteous bile that they couldn't calmly discuss the issues, and work together. I just couldn't imagine problems that people of decency couldn't handle in a reasonable way.
I'm beginning to understand. It didn't happen all at once. It built over time, like today's situation. Both sides believed themselves to be right, and the other to be, not just wrong, but potentially dangerous. It ceased to be a political discussion, but a battle against the forces of evil.
Each episode of conflict just led to even greater grievances, with the losing side more determined to prevail. And the losing side only associated with others like themselves. They couldn't contaminate themselves with contact with THOSE EVIL, VILE PEOPLE, IF YOU COULD EVEN CALL THEM HUMAN.
The Civil War didn't happen overnight. It was a long road from the Transcendentalists to war. But the same people grew more agitated each time they suffered a political or legislative loss, and this led to an "end justifies the means" attitude, and eventually to chaos.