One result of the explosion of social media and media in general is that more people than ever are engaged in conversation, debate, punditry and bloviating on the events and issues of the day.
This has illustrated a definite divide among Americans that goes deeper than disagreement on ways and means.
One one end of the spectrum are folks like myself that would like to live in a world where the government's role is limited to ensuring that individuals are not coerced or subjected to force by other individuals or groups as they go about their business.
On the other end are folks that believe the government should ensure that everyone has enough to eat, a place to sleep, clothing, health care and all of the basic needs of human life.
Those of us in the first group are not only opposed to the vision of the second because we believe it can't be done. We also believe that it's no way for a free human being to live. I wont launch into a lengthy debate of the merits of either view here.
The point is, when you get down to the core issue, there is no compromise, and we're getting closer and closer to finally getting down to the core issue. Do you want to live free or do you just want to live?
It would be nice if the folks in group 2 would actually engage in a debate of the merits of one view vs. another, but what I expect to see is more of what I've seen my whole life. If you are an individualist, you will be called cold hearted and greedy. You'll be characterized as someone who hates children, is under the spell of the rich, wants to kill old people, is opposed to clean air and water and is generally a horrible, terrible monster of a human being.
None of this is new, and it only influences the feint of heart, but I expect it to be exponentially multiplied this year due to the shear number of people with access to so many different outlets. Compounding the issue is that Americans are paying closer attention to the goings on of their government these days. We are at a turning point. It's time to pick sides. We may not settle the issue this cycle or the next, but soon and it's getting harder to pretend that there is no direct conflict of interest at play.
In any case there will be desperation and panic on one side or the other or both. That leads to outrageous behavior and speech. If nothing else it's shaping up to be quite an entertaining season.