The inability of Americans to “get along” bewailed by the recent editorial is likely to get worse instead of better, for (at the least) two major causes:
In the first place, differences in the most basic convictions are of chasm size—when millions hold abortion to be murder and other millions believe abortion to be a virtual sacrament of “women’s rights”, what possibility is there of “common ground”? Or when multitudes believe homosexual behavior to be an abomination to God while others see it as the purest love?
In the second place, even as we are farther and farther apart, the miracle of electronic communications puts us unremittingly in each other’s faces. The ease, cheapness and ubiquity of instantaneous anonymous “connection” by internet, world-wide web and social media make it possible for anyone, sage to psychopath, to mainline images, slogans and sentiments, harmful and helpful, into the arteries of public discourse.
Our best hope for cooling down the rage and obtaining some perspective would be for large numbers of people to shut down, unplug, disconnect, and close out the incessant messages. But that’s not going to happen. The vast majority of people will continue to sit several hours per day in the seat of scoffers (Psalm 1).