Is America Headed for a Divorce?

From the perspective of a marital/family therapist, a marriage is usually dead when:

1) Each side no longer trusts the other’s integrity or honesty;

2) Each side no longer shares the same basic values;

3) Each side stops listening to the other on the premise, “I know what (s)he’s going to say, and I have already made up my mind that it’s wrong” in regard to fundamental, basic issues upon which furtherance of the marriage would depend.

In today’s society, when I examine the differences between Republicans and Democrats — between conservatives and liberals, between leftists and non-leftists — I see all three criteria met. In the fullest degree.

Tell me if I’m right or wrong.

1) Democrats do not trust the integrity of Republicans. No matter what Republicans say it’s a lie, according to Democrats. And vice-versa.

2) Democrats and Republicans do not share basic values. Examples of basic values include the Second Amendment. Democrats do not think the Second Amendment applies to individual gun owners, and many say it should be abolished. At a minimum, they say it should be miminized or ignored when it comes to what they see as the protection of the public, by outlawing private possession of guns (except perhaps for hunting). Republicans, on the other hand, see gun ownership rights as a matter of principle. Not only do gun rights apply to the individual’s defense against criminals, as the police are not always available; gun rights, according to most Republicans, apply as a right of the individual against the state, should the state or federal government become tyrannical and arbitrary. Indeed, that was the original purpose of the Second Amendment, designed in post-Revolutionary America. Similar polar differences exist on abortion, the First Amendment (whether “hate speech” against selected groups should be outlawed), taxes, socialized medicine, college education as a right, and whether national borders should permit only legal citizens entry or be open to all comers on planet Earth at all times.

3) Democrats and Republicans no longer listen to each other. Debate is essentially shut down. Neither side will hear out the other. What is the point, when neither side appears willing to negotiate or compromise because, arguably, negotiation and compromise are no longer possible? You cannot both preserve and repeal the Second Amendment. You cannot both lower taxes AND increase them to 70 or 90 percent. You cannot both preserve the First Amendment as an absolute AND make exceptions to the First Amendment for gays, transgenders, blacks and Muslims, with provisions that nothing may be said which offends members of these groups, as they personally define “offense”. How do you compromise on these points and, if you cannot, what’s the purpose of negotiation?

Tell me if I’m right or wrong in my assessment that Democrats and Republicans are at the point of an irreconcilably broken marriage.

And if I’m not wrong, what will a divorce look like?



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