The issue in the US is not a Republican vs Democrat. Most people agree on most things, but are easily swayed by specific sub-issues/wedge issues that they cannot get beyond.
Are we a racist society? of course we are, all societies are racist, it’s a function of the human mind’s ability to identify differences and to fear them. The question is do we want to change from being a racist society that exploits difference to be a racist society that rewards inclusion? In other words, do we want to learn from our racism and maybe become less racist over time?
Americans are generally fiscally conservative; we believe in paying our bills and worry about debt. Having spending that is greater than income worries everyone. We are just not used to holding those who lie to us to account, and our politicians have continually exploited this weakness. Those who proclaim fiscal responsibility are those who have been most irresponsible with the budget when they get in power, and only become responsible when they are in opposition.
Americans are generally socially liberal; we like our religions (pretty much all of them. Maybe with the exception of ones that have bigger beards and more squiggly letters in their alphabet, but that’s another story) and generally approve of strangeness in others as long as they do it quietly. We really don’t care if people take drugs, as long as they are not violent about it, and don’t end up dying in a pool of vomit in our local parks. But our political parties have tried (and succeeded) in turning liberalism into a series of wedge issues.
Americans use a crap load of contraceptives, and also have a lot of unprotected sex that leads to a ridiculous number of unwanted pregnancies, But we’ve decided that sex education is bad, and women’s health is bad, so instead of working to reduce the volume of unwanted pregnancies, we’ve decided that abortions is a wedge issue that you are either for or against.
Seriously, when the rest of the world is teaching their kids that gay is okay, and women can be whatever they want, we’re scaring people with the idea of millions of partial birth abortions, as a way of creating an “us versus them” political climate.
We have the biggest military in the world, with the most expensive everything. Not by a little amount, but by a factor that make the next 20 countries combined about the same size. We have so much extra military equipment laying around we donate it to police departments, who now look like armies in their own right, because we need armored vehicles loaded with machine guns to give out parking tickets, obviously.
I have lots of friends who are left and right of center, and frankly they all say the same things.
“The other guys are evil”,
“it’s them, not us that created the problem”,
“only we can fix this”,
“I have to keep voting for my guy, because of what I read online, heard or saw on my fav news station or read in my fav news paper”
We keep saying we are a young country, but there really is no excuse for being a stupid country.
In a rational world the choice would not come down to a misogynistic, racist, xenophobic failed business man who ended up playing a role on reality TV against a close-to-octogenarian lifetime politician known for verbal gaffs, weird hugs and riding the train every day.
But that’s the choice the system provided, and while it looks likely Biden will win both the popular and electoral college votes, the fact that it’s even close speaks volumes about the process and the peoples lack of trust in the available choices.