Once upon a time there was an unhappy woman named Ann C. who made a lot of money by screaming about the treachery of half of the United States. Ann had a friend, an unhappy man named Michael M. who made a lot of money by screaming about the stupidity of the other half of the United States.
Ann and Michael liked to pretend that they hated each other, and that they were nothing alike. Michael made some movies. Ann wrote for magazines and newspapers. They both wrote books. A lot of people listened to their speeches and read their books. Those people liked to argue about who was right and who was wrong. Sometimes they fought like cats and dogs.
Ann and Michael (who were nothing alike) were very intelligent and well-read, and knew a lot of United States history. They would use discrete examples of this history to make their own friends look good, and each others’ friends look bad.
Sometimes they would run into each other in the local library as they researched their books. They would compare notes to make sure that they never said the same things about the same people. Michael would look at people like Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan and tell his friends how those two men were responsible for all of the ills of the country. Ann would talk about Bill Clinton and Russell Feingold, and tell her friends how those two men were responsible for all of the ills of the country.
Ann believed that Michael’s friends were letting outsiders hurt the USA. Michael believed Ann’s friends were hurting the USA by themselves.
They just couldn’t agree on anything.
One day some people, who were kind of fed up with both Ann and Michael, began to realize that although a coin has two sides there is also a middle, and sometimes that middle has a lot of stuff in it. They also realized that, with a history of 227 years and counting, the USA was not beholden to any one generation, or political party, or administration.
Some of them thought that maybe the world wasn’t quite as big as it once was, and maybe the USA ought to try getting along with its neighbors. Others realized that the USA was a lot bigger than it used to be, and maybe it ought to try getting its shit together and stop beating itself up.
And at least one person decided that the true traitors are the ones who profit from making Ann’s friends and Michael’s friends pick sides and fight, when they should be working harder at just being Americans.
To be continued…