The great Michael Hiltzik wrote an important column in the LA Times: America is not facing a civil war — only loudmouthed extremists
With an election just behind us and another beckoning a year from now, political pundits are dusting off their perennial observations about a “polarized” America.
Actually, these observations don’t need to be dusted off because they’re never put on the shelf, no matter how wrong they’re proven by actual facts. The truth is that America is nothing like a polarized country.
Large majorities agree on the most pressing issues of the day: They favor abortion rights, stricter gun controls and more COVID-related restrictions, especially on unvaccinated people. You might not be aware of this if you listen to programs on Fox News or even the average political commentary on our leading newspapers or CNN.
Read the entire piece.
If you do watch Fox News you're probably not aware of their new poll since it refutes their highest-rated hosts who promote anti-vax materials and conspiracy theories so that people and their families don't stay safe solely for the purpose of diminishing the Biden administration.
Fox13 in Tampa Bay took the time to review it and writes "Majorities support mask and vaccine mandates advocated by the Biden administration, as the coronavirus pandemic remains a top concern, according to the latest Fox News poll.
Three-quarters of registered voters are "extremely" or "very" concerned about the pandemic (74%), a 5-point increase from August when 69 percent were worried. The shift comes mainly from Republicans (+14) and men (+8).
As Hiltzik says, the country isn't polarized like some in the mainstream profess. The problem in this country is that Republicans have been radicalized like the people in Jonestown. It's impossible to reason with them or deal with them honestly.
They are programmed to refute science and reality in service of their conspiracies that they believe empower them.
Consider the news this week that now one in five hundred Americans has died in the pandemic; total deaths in the country approach seven hundred thousand. What’s worse, covid deaths—the vast majority of them preventable, avoidable deaths, now that science and the federal government have provided us with free vaccines—are continuing to rise across large swaths of vaccine-resistant Trump country.
This is not a tragic mistake but a calculated choice by many Republicans who have made vaccine resistance synonymous with resistance to Biden and the Democrats. The current average of more than nineteen hundred dead a day means that a 9/11’s worth of Americans are perishing from covid roughly every thirty-eight hours. To my mind, this is the biggest news of the Biden Presidency so far, and it has nothing to do with Afghanistan, or the fate of the budget-reconciliation bill, or Bob Woodward’s new book.
America spent twenty years fighting wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East because of 9/11. The 2001 attacks reordered American foreign-policy and national-security thinking for a generation. Does anyone believe that something comparable will happen as a result of the pandemic’s catastrophic death toll, which is far vaster than that of any other crisis in the modern era? It’s hard to imagine, especially because the continuing loss of life is a result of G.O.P. political strategies that intentionally undermine the success of Biden’s policies. How can this President, or any President, reset from that?
Digby concurs: "We have a party that is, as Glasser says, killing large numbers of Americans, for political purposes. I don’t know who’s going to stop them."