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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:00 PM
Original message
When did our country become so divided?
Serious question. When did all the hatred and revenge and cruelty arrive on the scene? I'm trying to think back to how it came about but it almost seems as though one day we were pretty much okay, and the next...

Was it VietNam? Reagan? Whaaa?

And it all seems like it's accelerating exponentially. Like the end of the Beatles A Day In The Life where the cacophony of music keeps getting more and more frenzied then it comes to a sudden halt. I think we're heading toward that sudden halt and I wonder what's on the other side.

Any insight is much appreciated.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. It comes and goes, doesn't it?
The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the 60's / Vietnam War...

Is it always around wartime that this happens?
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Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Except WWII
That was about the only war I know that had the support of most Americans and our allies. Mainly due to the Pearl Harbor attack. Bush had that too right after 9/11. From America, both houses and the world but he exploited and abused it. Now if we have another such attack we'll see more countries cheering about it this time and saying that it served us right.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Newt Gave it Legs
It predates him, to be sure, but he turned up the volume control and made rancor fashionable.
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I think Newt has a lot of blame too. Remember his "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"?
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.ht...

Newt was the one who branded Democrats traitors and whatnot, for the first time in recent history.

But that said, if you want to know where partisan rancor began, you could go back to the Civil War, the beginning of the nation, even, hell, the beginning of participatory politics.
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Rageneau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think the emergence of Limbaugh was a big factor.
Rush told people what they wanted to hear -- that's it's okay to be selfish, greedy and bellicose because "they" deserve it.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. And that emergence was assisted by ray-gun's killing of the Fairness Doctrine
How better to promote a right wing agenda unfettered and unchallenged then by daily hate speech spewed forth by an uneducated buffoon who could not possibly make a living any other way all in the name of free enterprise.

What do conservatives fear?:

- The Fairness Doctrine
- Swearing to tell the Truth
- Consequences for committing hate crimes

Oh so telling.
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Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. The media helps
Most people can't think for themselves, they're told how to think. I guarantee if you ask somebody what their opinion is about a candidate or a certain issue like health care you will get a response that will sound similar to what the talking points of the day are.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. My best guess is Goldwater running for president in 1964.
Kennedy and "the Dream" were gone. Goldwater wanted to fight communism with the same zeal Giuliani wants to fight terrorism. And ironically, Johnson used FEAR of fear of communism in his famous "Daisy" TV spot to cinch the deal.

After that, the schism just widened with Vietnam, war protesters vs. blue collar hardhats, Nixon, the democratic convention in Chicago, etc. Then we all know about Reagan/Bush/Newt/Shrub, and the latter knew their best interests were in keeping this country from reuniting as if it happened, the masses would unite against them.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. I was the GOP working to turn the religious right into patsys that
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 02:05 PM by applegrove
required that much anger and hatred.
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. The rise of RW talk radio in the late 80's
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Before the Civil War. It was never actually "healed". (NT)
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. That's the correct answer.
The south has never recovered from the Civil War, and has continued to hold grudges against the Union. These are the same things that have been exploited by politicians ever since.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. It really started in 1996
the right wing has been pushing it
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Devlzown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. The 2000 election had a lot to do with it.
Then came the war. I think the country is coming back together now, though. People on DU have joked a lot about how Bush has united the country against him, but I think it's really very true.
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Saturday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. I agree with you.
The selection of Bush in 2000 gave the divide that was already there a whole new meaning.
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. Vietnam and the Civil Rights era is when the split started.
When the Dixiecrats turned from the Democrats to the GOP because they couldn't deal with integration and the GOP welcomed their racists asses.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
15. although it has likely existed forever
I'd say the current political divide is largely on Rush Limbaugh's sweaty shoulders.

Yes, we had a national divide of sorts during Vietnam, but I think giving a mainstream media voice to the hatred and one-sided smear attacks has lead to where we are now. It's not that the divide is new, but the acceptance of it - the unquestioning of likening Democrats to terrorists on national TV - allows Joe Sixpack to be a hateful person and not think twice about it. It gives a license for bigotry of every stripe, from racism to homophobia to sexism, to exist and be revelled in. And he even has his own built-in defense: to say otherwise is to be PC.

They've been dumbing down the discourse for so long, it's almost impossible to have an actual rational conversation with someone who disagrees any more. I'm not saying we don't sometimes dip into that rancid, scummy pool either, but I think we're often not as aggressive about it either.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. 2000
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 02:29 PM by ProSense
Anybody who says anything different is thinking too much, not saying they don't have a point. The Vietnam war was very divisive, and certainly there were other periods (and maybe it was simmering in the shadows), but Bush's selection in 2000 and the media's go along so-called fair and balanced reporting (Bush lies = facts) sealed it. When the media emboldened Bush in 2004, and with its uncritical reporting since, that gave every wingnut justification for their ignorance, intolerance and arrogance. The same goes for those on the world stage who use Bush's actions as justification to do whatever the hell they please.

I'm sure if Bush had been shut out in 2000, the neocon/wingnuts would have kept trying to push their agenda. Ideally, it would have been great if they could have been stopped in their tracks (as in caught) trying to perpetrate the dirty tricks of 2004, and held accountable.

During the 2004 campaign, I remember reading an article stating that maybe what this country needs is to hit rock bottom before it can begin to climb back. Unfortunately, that's really too high a price to pay (as we're seeing).



edited typos




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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. It takes a lot of effort to hold this thing together
More entropy means more division. That's my simple answer to the question.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. During the greed driven Reagan years-when everyone was indoctrinated that they would be rich.
:puke:
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. it seems to me that each time the bushes push the pedal ... they have a magic gas which divides de
country. this is my serious answer ... it felt as divided with reagan/bush as it did with bush/quayle as it does with bush/cheney.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
22. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Capitalism pure evil? Lost moral compass? Hmmm
where have I read those talking points before?

Enjoy your stay...

By the way... Edmund Burke used similar talking points about the French Revolution... and the man fighting him in the market place of Ideas was Thomas Paine... you may want to look it up...
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
24. Those d---'d Anti-Foederalists do importune his Excellency Gen'l Washington most fouly
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 02:49 PM by Bucky
I have hath enough of theyr Whiggish wayes!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. Rash Limpbag
aided and abetted by televangelists playing politics and eventually by corporatized mass media. That's how.

Limpbag was especially pernicious, teaching people that they could substitute middle school insults and name calling for political discourse and that facts were less important than belonging to an ideology.

Belonging is a very comfy feeling. A lot of people got sucked in by his shtik of telling them they were smarter than pointy headed liberals. A lot of people are still there.

The country is more divided than I have ever seen it. Not even during Vietnam was it this uncivil; even though some parts of it were form time to time, they didn't sustain it 24/7.

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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. The day Bill Clinton said he was running for office. Daddy Bush told him NOT TO RUN
because he was going to run and Bill ignored his ass. That very day Little Rock investigations started. Their endless witch hunt on Clinton, their BLATANT partisanship and their intense, PURE HATRED of Bill Clinton just exposed their true feelings. At least before that they pretended to be normal. Bill screwed up their PNAC agenda for 8 YEARS. They hated him for that. The repukes are responsible for everything BAD going on in our country right now. Every time they're in power, they commit crimes! Nixon (Watergate), Reagan (Iran/Contra), and Bush (too long to list).....NEVER AGAIN!
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
27. It Started With the Spiteful Words: "There You Go Again"
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 02:53 PM by Crisco
And with it, assholes had their champion: Ronald Reagan. Never before had an American president been purposely, disrespectfully, belittled on national television.
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VP505 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
28. We have probably
always had some degree of division and some level of hatefulness and revenge as I think it human nature to be that way. IMO, it really started to become noticeable and has increased in its level of vileness after Nixon left office, the Republics have been on a crusade to avenge his demise ever since. When Bu$h was installed in the White House they had control of two branches and went to work to get control of the third. Since that time the Republics have worked real hard to set the hateful tone of the country today and worse to make the rule of law and Constitution as irrelevant as possible. Unfortunately we are in a position that we MUST fight fire with fire and that sure as hell doesn't help, but again, IMO we need to beat the Reich down to a level that will prevent them from ever getting control of so much power again and restore law and order.
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12string Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
29. We started to go that direction
when Ronald Reagan was elected and started the attack on the
unions.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
30. I think it was when Poppy lost to Clinton
They went after Clinton with a vengence.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
31. civil war
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
32. There have always been divisions, but nothing like this.
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 02:59 PM by Vinca
I blame Karl Rove for stirring up the fundies, the neocons for successfully pushing their lunatic fantasies into reality, Cheney for being an evil person, Shrub for being chronically out to lunch and, finally, media types such as Limbaugh/Coulter/Malkin/Hannity/Hume to fuel the fire. They (wingnut media) have the dim bulbs in our society so worked up they'll probably never think straight again. How do you heal a divide when the person on the other side thinks it's a socialist, commie, pinko notion to give kids healthcare?
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
33. 1981
I picked up a guy hitch-hiking outside of Salem in 1981. Long-haired, hippy dippy freak, and I mean that in a good way. We chatted about this and that, and he volunteered that he was hitching because the police had impounded his car. He was quite used to being pulled over by the local constabulary, and delayed from going about his business. Every now and then he'd get a citation for a blinking turn signal or a reflective rear view mirror, and he'd pay it in the knowledge that his countercultural mien came with a price. But he'd now run into a whole new attitude from the local police, and they had decided to confiscate his vehicle rather than just hassling him by pulling him over. His rueful remark was, "I just don't know how it all got so fascist so fast."

So the answer to your question is 1981, when "different" in and of itself became a criminal liability.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
34. I believe it was the 1830s...and it never went away.
Edited on Tue Oct-16-07 03:16 PM by tom_paine
(I am not speaking geographically here, but mentally; there are many fine and wonderful people in the South, as there are almost everywhere you go)

I mean, could you have failed to read about how the defeated Bushies in 1876, when the Northern Army left, formed the KKK and began acting like they always wanted to act towards Southern Liberals, Yankees, and Blacks, which is to say to beat them and murder them.

This went on for another 100 years, and the liberals who were killed by the KKK/Bushies all throughout the 60s stands as a testament to the fact that we never were unified, except by an extrnal enemy like the Nazis. And even then, the Bushie Leadership tried to remove FDR in 1934 and replace him with a military dictator (Marine Gen. Smedley Butler, who God bless his patriots heart, immediately turned the Bushies in).

You failed to hear the Bushie threats during that 100 years, in whichthey TOLD us what they were going to do to us. "The South will RISE AGAIN." Again I must aplogoize to any Southerner and reiterate that I am not speaking of the whole South, but the Bushies in the South, which doesn't include decent people anywhere, no matter where they hail from.

Guess when the Bushies STOPPED saying "The South Will Rise Again." Right aroundthe time of Reagan's 1980 visit to the Bushie South's symbol of What Needs to be Done to Libeals, Philadelphia, Mississippi.

And in that celebration, the Bushie Southerners finally and fully realized that the Party of Lincoln was now the Party of Lee.

So the Bushies stopped talking about it, because the time to start gittin 'er DONE had started.

But at least the great Victory of Americans Over Bushies in 1865 made it impossible for the Bushie South to join forces with Hitler, which they almost certainly would have, if only to spite those Yankee Liberals (and we all know how often Bushies take posiion based solely on that and no other reason) fighting against him.

OTOH, Judah P. Benjamin notwithstanding, Bushie Southern attitudes towards blacks and Jews weren't all that different from the Nazis, except the Rebs never dreamed of systematically exterminating the Jews and the Blacks were too valuable as slaves to consider such an option.

In conclusion, you asked when the nation became so divided? About the 1830s. And it never really went away, only submerged because the Bushies were allowed to murder blacks and liberals while creating Jim Crow for 100 years.

As soon as the 1960s happened, and African-Americans were freed again, this time by their own efforts as well as those of tens of thousand Liberals and otherwell-meaning Americans.

THAT'S when this wound that never closed re-opened, and that is about when the Bushies decided on their long-term goal to possess America by destroying the Old America from the inside, the way Caesar and Hitler did.

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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
35. Wow. What fascinating and thought provoking responses - I can't thank you
enough. You've guided me to look at occurrences from different perspectives, and have really given me food for thought.

I appreciate you all so much! :yourock:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
36. the late 1960s
starting in the late 60's the national culture started splintering into a variety of cultural movements and counter-cultures and cultural reactions. By around 1980 the various cultural factions formed themselves into a "New Age"/Social Liberal camp and a "Born-Again Christian"/Social Conservative camp. Now, though, if the various evangelical groups becoming concerned by climate change are any indication the barriers between the two camps may be starting to dissolve.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
37. when the republicans had to dehumanize the democrats in order to win. n/t
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