"I found it so striking the degree to which people engaged in this conversation had no interest in grappling with the point being made. Nearly everyone said some version of “but we are right and they are wrong and that makes a big difference.” Of course it makes a big difference! And yet it makes no difference at all... that dynamic is precisely what I am describing. It’s not evidence against me; it’s the argument I am making. It’s not false equivalence because it says nothing about the rightness or wrongness of their respective views to note that Democrats and Republicans increasingly believe the other party is as such a threat to the survival of America."

Well, as one of those who replied in this way, let me say the following:

1) You're right; I, like you (and lots of people, if hardly a majority) have been worring about this for a while. But it's unclear what to *do*. As you can say, we can't divorce (although if the division were able to be drawn in any plausibly geographic way, I think succession would be worth serious consideration... but it probably can't so it's moot).

2) I still think it is worth saying, *every* time one talks about this, that there *is* an asymmetry here. Neither side trusts the other... but one side is *right* and the other wrong. That's important enough to matter.

3) It matters for another reason too: it shapes what we might consider doing. If they were right, then, of course, we would have to push for reform laws despite the damage it would do. If both sides had a point, then some compromise could be explored. But *since they are wrong*, then it really, really means we can't, and shouldn't, compromise.

All that said... I agree with you that it's a terrible mess. I see no good road out of it. Now, the world is complicated and there are doubtless factors I'm not considering... but when your hopes all lie in the unknown unknowns, you know it's not a great situation.

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