No question that our country is very divided. Last time it was this divided we had the Civil War. Let's hope it doesn't happen again, ever.
Unfortunately, I don't see a reconciliation anytime soon. The GOP is doing the bidding of the voters who put them in office. Voters don't want to see poor people doing things like eating, receiving medical care or having a roof over their heads. They are 'sick and tired' of paying for poor people. They expect poor people to become educated and 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps' (reminiscent of 'let them eat cake', kinda).
That is the thrust of where the GOP is coming from. No mention of our two wars, our deficit beyond what Obama added to it (three trillion dollars), nothing beyond 'me me me'. 'Health care is not a right'. GOP supporters think we were all born yesterday, that laws and regulations which protect workers from the vagaries of Big Employers are a convenient afterthought, to be taken for granted.
This may not be rectified in our lifetimes. We may revert to the days of the Gilded Age, pre-revolutionary France, Russia or even Cuba. Workers will wonder why they live in hovels, why their children work beside them, why they die of treatable illnesses and why they are hungry. I wonder if the history books of the future will show them that they put themselves there.
Check out Arianna Huffington's new book, "Third World America", if you dare. The trend of political, economic and social life in the US is moving closer and closer to the scenario that prompted major overhaul of our laws to curb the excesses and abuses of the super-rich. The middle class in this country is being decimated by everything from taxes, costs of services, costs of housing and reduced incomes (if you don't believe that one, the facts are easily checked).
If the middle class should disappear, we will have the structure of a traditional Third World, populated by a small group of extremely wealthy families/individuals who control everything. We are not far from that point right now. The only cure, the only way to reverse this is for ordinary voters to realize what is happening and to understand which of our corrupt structure will at least attempt to do what is right for the general good.
So far the electorate showed some signs of it in 2008 but have been badly let down by the politicians, leading to the 2010 result. Let us hope that by 2012, at least one of the parties will show signs of grasping the full ramification of what needs to be done to provide equal opportunity and equal access to such basics as education, health care and properly reimbursed employment. None of this is currently present in this country.
In all these aspects the rest of the developed western world is far, far ahead of the US. It is notable that Canada, our northern neighbor, has seen very little of the economic downturn that we have experienced because they have more properly engineered laws which govern finance, health and education.