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Families have broken up since the Republicans have taken office -- broken up to the point where brother and sister and parents no longer even speak to each other. People talk of leaving the country altogether. Others talk of some states breaking away and forming their own nation. Yet others talk of the shame they feel that other nations see what we have done and are doing wrt torture and thumbing our noses at real freedom and democracy while we march steadily toward a kind of theocratic fascism.

I'd say that's a bit of an exaggeration. I don't doubt that some people won't talk to others because of politics, even family members... but I wouldn't say that this is something unprecidented in even our relatively short history. It wouldn't appear to come close to the level of disagreement that lead to the civil war.

Don't confuse the vocal minority with the majority on either side. Those of us arguing on PA are pretty die-hard and vocal. I have many Republican friends who are generally against Social Security and the Minimum Wage, but not to the degree I am (they'd like to see it go away, but not enough to say so publically.) I'm sure you have Democratic friends with the opposite views but who are equally private about them. Or maybe you don't, which is why you think things are worse than they are, but I certainly know plenty of Dems who are far less hard-core, so to speak.

I'm pretty much the only Republican in my family. They're all blue-collar union types who vote Democratic and always have. Some are more hard-core than others, but we still talk... just not politics. We all know where we stand, nobody is going to change anyone's minds. Most of my immediate coworkers on patrol are Republican, while those in the offices are Democrat. We just see things differently, and agree to disagree.

I'd say that the impending division view is not new, every generation has their epic moments. Some do act on them, of course, but there just doesn't seem to be the passion in it this time. This isn't the 1960's. This isn't the 1860's. This isn't 1776. I'm not worried. Then again, my side is in power, so maybe I'm just too content to worry. Either way, for a student of history these are interesting times to some degree.

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