"Since the Civil War a century and a half ago, America has never been as divided as it is in these early years of the twenty-first century. There has always been some conflict in America -- racial, class, and otherwise -- but nothing as widespread and visible as today's persistent and passionate class of worldviews. With a nonstop news cycle and a blogosphere that produces boundless information, opinion, and ranting, the warring parties within American politics and society are in a seemingly permanent state of contention.
Even during the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, that strife was at least focused on a few specific issues: Vietnam, civil rights, feminism, Watergate. Among the older generation and conservative elements there was stubborn resistance to change, but the sense of disunity was insignificant compared to the deep, fundamental differences that divide much of America today."
Ordinarily, I would expect someone who could write that and get it through an editorial process to be young and charismatic. But as near as I can tell, this guy's at least my age, and I Am Not Young. The median age in this country is about 37. I'm older than that. This guy's older than me. So this is not the foolishness of Youth. This is the foolishness of a Total Lack of Historical Perspective.
The cold hard truth is the Religious Right is just spouting all the crap that a much bigger fraction of the country took for granted within my lifetime, and basically, very, very few of the people spouting it are prepared to kill over it (thank whatever you may). By contrast, the issues of the 1960s and 1970s included a far larger number of people _who did_ kill over those issues, and committed all kinds of crimes short of murder in the service of their goals -- whether those goals were the preservation of a the status quo, an attempt to return to some idyllic, ahistoric past or an effort to implement a utopian ideal. We are for the most part just yapping at each other. Pretending this makes us "more divided" than in the past is ridiculous, and, like most of the rest of this book, makes one wonder about the political naivete of the man who produced this nonsense.