As the reign of Trump and the advent of Brexit proceeds it is increasingly clear that we are living in highly volatile, divided and polarised countries.
People live in their own bubbles. They select what they believe from sources that only reflect their views. Friends who think differently are dumped. Families are split and people who hold opposing views are ostracised, ignored, stereotyped and ridiculed.
In the USA a whole range of issues have become totally politicised: Immigration, the environment, global warming, gun control, abortion, contraception, Muslims and hunting come to mind.
In the UK it is Immigration, Muslims, Tommy Robinson, sovereignty, nationalism, race, rape, terrorism and the EU.
The strength of emotion is extreme. The vitriol and rancour is evident.
People are no longer thinking about issues. They decide on a side and then accept the view put out by that side via the websites that feed them the raw meat. It is an emotional choice.
The prevailing view is that everybody is lying. Everything is fake news. You can’t trust the experts. Scientists are in the pay of various groups. So people can believe what they want.
In the States there are those who believe Trump can do no wrong and those who believe he is the epitome of evil.
In the UK we are split into those who believe Brexit will deliver a better Britain and those who believe it is a total disaster.
There is no compromise! There is no middle view! There is no debate!
Tommy Robinson is either the peoples’ champion or a fascist Islamophobe.
Global warming is a liberal globalist plot or a looming disaster.
The level of division and hatred is unparalleled. It is exemplified by the change in attitudes in the USA:
in 1958 – only 4% of Americans approved of interracial marriages. That has risen to 87% approval.
28% of Americans were against marriage between political parties. That has risen to 63%.
That means that only 1 in ten Americans would be unhappy if their daughter married someone from a different race but 6 out of ten would be unhappy if their daughter married someone from a different political party!!
The bad feeling between Republicans and Democrats has never been as bad.
In Britain – it is probably as bad between Brexiteers and Remainers. But we don’t have guns!
So where does this hate and polarisation lead?
In Britain it will come to a head when Brexit is finally out of the way. But I’m not sure that will solve too much. I suspect that if the country either prospers or languishes it will unleash a backlash of blame and recriminations. The anger will persist.
In the USA I perceive it to be even worse. There are people talking about revolution, civil war and we now have pipe-bombs being sent.
I suspect that there is going to be violence. The sides are irreconcilable and the politicians of both sides are whipping it up for their own ends.
Dark forces have been set loose.
I know who I blame!!