Our partisan fireworks will be hard to put out

“While July Fourth is the holiday that most directly celebrates Americans’ common heritage, this year it comes as their extreme divides underscore how difficult it has become for any president to set a unified direction for the country,” according to a political analysis on CNN.

“From vaccination rates to voting rights, from immigration policy to racial equity, blue and red states are hurtling in antithetical directions at staggering speed, even amid President Joe Biden’s persistent calls for greater national unity and his attempts to foster more bipartisan agreement in Washington.

“Across all of these issues, and more, Republican-controlled states are pursuing policies that amount to a wholesale effort to counter Biden’s direction at the national level — even as they look to block some of his key initiatives with lawsuits.

“In some ways, the red state recoil from Biden’s agenda echoes the ‘resistance’ that exploded in Democratic-controlled states to Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency; in other ways, today’s actions in red states may constitute even greater evidence of the country pulling apart.

“Especially striking is that, as during last year’s lockdowns and mask mandates, the separation between red and blue America is occurring not only at the level of government policy, but also in individual behavior, with all studies showing Republicans are being vaccinated against the coronavirus at a much lower rate than Democrats.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “Our partisan fireworks will be hard to put out”

  1. I am In Pennsylvania visiting family, including my wife’s 91 year old father, for the first time in 2 years.

    In the rural county seat of Bedford PA Covid numbers were low for the first 6 months of the pandemic. But the third wave was brutal and Bedford ended up having one of the highest death rates in the state.

    Family is a big deal here and almost every multigenerational conversation eventually gravitates to whose family married into whose, and what villages township or cove they are from.

    Bedford County also voted about 85% for Trump, strongly and proudly resisted mask mandates, and was the site of a minor incident of violence when a cross country BLM walk was fired on by some local residents. (Fortunately no one was injured.). The full panoply of Trump regalia is still on display-signs, flags, message boards, stickers—even many “Fuck Biden” flags in front yards. I can’t imagine a mind so warped that first impression they would want to offer of themselves is “Fuck….anything.”

    Like most of the country the majority of the people who died here were old.

    The highly professional retirement home my father in law lives in (Homewood Retirement Centers) was incredibly proactive, took every precaution including a full lock down, and of almost 150 residents in his facility lost not a soul to Covid. The people who work at and manage that company are goddam heroes. My guess is that a huge majority of them voted for Donald Trump. Heroes.

    Others were far less fortunate and Covid reaped through other retirement homes in the community taking dozens.

    In this place where family is important, where if you asked the residents why after all of the ups and downs rural economies have seen they stayed they would respond family. Ideology was stronger than protecting their elderly relations.

    If we do not understand yet that Trump was not a cause but a symptom, was the neofascist personality cultist that accelerated the disease and metasticized it, that the disease of authoritarianism is in the minds of a substantial number of our fellow Americans, and that this is a existential threat to American democracy, we will never understand it.

    But we have to understand it if we wish to have a rational, civil, just, and free society to hand over to our children to steward.

    We should love and have compassion for most who have been swept into this personality cult and lost their way. We should address the discontent because some of the causes of discontent are real and we should be continuously improving policy and governance. But the leaders of this authoritarian movement must be named, called out, opposed, and held accountable for their attack on democracy itself.

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