To hear most people talk about it, you would think that our biannual election tradition has the country whipped into a such frenzy that riots in the streets are inevitable. In fact, no less astute a student of history than former President Carter said that the current environment was worse than that leading up to the Civil War. (Let’s say that again – Carter thinks the current political environment is more tense than the one that led to a protracted war in which hundreds of thousands of Americans killed each other over the concept of owning another human being.)
After all, just look at the nasty, disgusting political advertising that’s going on. It didn’t used to be like this, some of the pundits tell us. Time was when American politics was built on a foundation of civility and mutual respect.