In the space of a decade or so, public debates over differences in policy in US politics have been replaced by mud-slinging over differences in colour, religion and heritage.
Obamacare was the last time when an actual policy was the centre of public debate. It hasn’t disappeared entirely but it being overrun but societal schisms that are orders of magnitude more visceral, if that was possible. It’s not Democrat v Republican but white v non-white. Christian v non-Christian and north v south. And the differences are deep, emotional and seemingly irresolvable.
Trump’s random Tweets (and I do think they’re random with little forethought put into them) feed into the hate on both sides, but they especially validate the views of those who are white, Christian, anti-trade and anti-immigrant racists and bigots. These groups feel they have little to fear as they wave their Confederate flags, torches and guns.
As long as Trump is in power, debates will not return to legitimate matters of national policy and will remain at the level of raw emotion. Even if he resigned today, it may well be that it’s too late to shut the barn door.
I fear for my American neighbours. I really do.