I have a Facebook presence, albeit not wide or deep: I have just over 100 friends, and a lot of them are actually friends – some from many years past.
Given my personal political viewpoint – which many years ago did not preclude my having a lot of friends with whom I totally disagreed politically, but which recently has required one to take sides rather than discuss alternatives and seek compromises - my circle of friends and acquaintances all pretty much see the world as I do, and I see it as they do.
As unhealthy as that state of affairs might be, it has a sociological advantage: it is possible, by scrolling down Facebook, to see what my herd seems to be thinking.
That is currently alarming.
It is alarming not because of “what” anybody seems to think; it is alarming because of the vehemence with which they appear to be thinking it.
Coming to a boil I would call it.
Assuming that there is at least one other, diametrically opposed herd to the one in which I seem to be running, it would seem reasonable to further assume that they are coming to a boil as well.
(I know this assumption is actually valid because some of the other herd occasionally leak into my Facebook world spewing their particular views of the world with vehemence and a boil equivalent to that of the boil of my herd.)
Let’s just say – to keep this thing real simple – that two herds are all that there are.
That’s a totally unreasonable thing to say, but all I need is two herds to make the point I intend to make.
I read a lot of history, and from my reading I can’t identify another time in American history when we the people were ever sorted down into two irreconcilably boiling factions convinced that the other needs to be eliminated.
It looks to me as if the Russian hackers have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
We are poised on the brink of a gradually developing civil war based only on hatred of some “other”.
Unlike our previous Civil War which had underpinning ideals on both sides, this one is just going to be the result of hate, brought to a boil, by an insane and irrational charlatan masquerading as a leader.
The world as it exists today is thing that has been created and maintained by America for seventy five or so years.
The main objectives of that American creation have been to spread self governing democracy, foster world wide prosperity and, most important (because this is pre-requisite for the other objectives to be achieved) the elimination of war between or among the world’s great powers.
Without America the world quickly devolves into chaos.
And that’s not good for jobs.
And that won’t make America great again.