It is both relevant and fair to pose the following questions: Who is chiefly responsible for the nation’s partisan divide and our inflamed political discourse? Who started the acrimony and still feeds it constantly? Who has obviously sought to use that divide for their own political gain?

Sometimes questions can be answered with other questions. For instance who in 2016 refused to accept the results of the presidential election? Who, instead of accepting defeat and serving as the loyal opposition, has since sought to personally discredit the duly elected candidate at every turn? Who went unsuccessfully from “collusion, collusion” to “Russia, Russia” to “ventilators, ventilators” to impeachment, to “ineffectiveness in a time of pandemic” to “the president hasn’t paid his taxes,” further indicating their disregard for a legitimate election? On whose side of the political divide are the thuggish, destructive “protestors” and their cheerleaders?

Furthermore, who abandoned the time-honored tradition of losing an election with honor, then working to elect their preferred candidate in the next election? Conservatives never behaved so unseemly during the eight years that gave them gay marriage, apology tours, initiation of socialized medicine, and warnings about “cynical voters who cling to guns or religion.”

These questions require no pondering. We all know the answers.

Precisely our division is centered on race, economic ideology, and our political system itself, that is, how we are governed. Regarding our political system, the divide is a matter of representative government versus government by unelected judges, bureaucrats, and “experts.” Regarding the economy and economic ideology, the division is purely and simply capitalism versus socialism. As for race, the division is supposedly over justice versus injustice. In order to achieve justice, it is apparently now legitimate to bash store fronts, shoot cops, and set cities aflame.

The most foundational of these three areas is our political system. America is a representative democracy. Understanding that a pure democracy is functionally impossible in a continental nation, we elect people to speak and vote for us. This system is now under attack. Abolish the Electoral College, the dividers are crying, knowing full well that doing so would leave rural America and small states out of the loop, bestowing total electoral power upon the population centers of the nation.

And just which party now controls the major population centers of the nation? Which one wants to further “transform” our political system by packing the Supreme Court?

Another source of our discontent is the unabashed embrace of socialism by Bernie Sanders. Ditto the Democrat Party’s joyful embrace of Sanders and his Children’s Crusade. Their claim that public schools and Social Security render us socialist already indicates their need to return to 12th grade economics. From the very start, America has thrived from capitalism. It was a Democrat, Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, who thundered from the Senate floor, “If we’re gonna have capitalism, we gotta have capital, and if we’re gonna have capital, we gotta have capitalists.” Long’s party has long since morphed. Its face is that of 20-somethings who truly believe there is such a thing as free stuff.

As for race, a quick relevant story that’s close to my heart: Fifty years ago a personal friend became head football coach at the high school I attended in Forest, Mississippi. 1970 was the first year of integration in Forest. Coach Gary Risher’s team was undefeated and won their conference title. His assistant was James Clark who had been head coach at the Black school, E.T. Hawkins High. Only six of Coach Clark’s players chose to remain on the team. Two weeks ago all six Black players attended a halftime program that honored the 1970 team, including Edmond Harvey who drove from Las Vegas and picked up Lee Evans in Shreveport to head toward Forest. When my brother Carlton related to me the news of this exciting event, he added, “Tells you something about Forest.”

Which it does. It also reminds me that here in Georgia I observe good race relations every week of my life. Yet, charges of racism have become the standard cudgel of the party that doesn’t seem to like their country.

No one can blame conservatives for the nation’s great divide. On election night of 2008 conservatives accepted their fate, assumed the role of the loyal opposition, and set their sights on 2012. Let’s see if Democrats will do likewise come November 3rd by calling off their thugs, checking their obsession with race, and acknowledging that Forest, Mississippi is a microcosm of the entire nation. In fact, a good nation that is not racist and that will never tolerate the group-think and collectivism Democrats are planning for us.

Roger Hines is a retired English teacher and state legislator in Kennesaw.

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