• 41°

Gary Pearce: As divided as the Vietnam era

Writer

Democratic strategist Gary Pearce posts on the blog, Talking About Politics.

By Gary Pearce

Talking About Politics

Last night’s installment of Ken Burns’s “The Vietnam War” recalled how divided our country was 50 years ago.

Today we’re just as divided. Thanks to Trump.

Apparently, the Divider-in-Chief doesn’t have enough on his plate with North Korea, Russia, Obamacare and hurricane relief. So he goes to Alabama and (surprise!) attacks athletes who happen to be black and who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police shootings.

Hand it to Colin Kaepernick. However good he is at quarterback, he’s a master at starting a national conversation.

Except we can’t have a conversation. We have to attack, demonize and destroy each other if we disagree.

Thanks Trump.

This is the worst thing about him. It’s not just that he pits black against white, Democrat against Republican, Trump voter against Clinton voter, Tea Party Republican against Establishment Republican, NFL and NBA against NASCAR.

It’s that — always, always — he pits the worst in human nature against the best in human nature, against what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

You see this in how some CEOs, politicians and maybe your family members seem emboldened by Trump to derogate and denigrate anybody they disagree with or don’t like. It’s open season. Be like Trump!

When Carter Wrenn and I spoke at Quail Ridge Books a few weeks back, the question came up repeatedly: What happened to civility?

Well, the man with the biggest microphone in America and 38.8 million Twitter followers has declared war on civility.

The Vietnam series reminds us that it’s happened before. In 1968, Nixon got elected by setting black against white (the Southern Strategy), hard-hats against long-hairs, and his so-called Silent Majority against his Enemies List.

How did that work out? You could look it up.

Comments

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month