On the national scene, politics is in turmoil. Four years of a tear-the-country-apart presidential administration has been followed not by a return to normal, but by ongoing claims that the president was not legitimately elected. Fully 70 percent of Republicans, pollsters say, believe that to be true, despite no shred of supporting evidence. Meanwhile, across the land, state legislators debate — and pass — bills restricting access to the ballot box, on no basis beyond repeated lies.
Razor-thin margins in both houses of Congress — plus arcane rules, gerrymandered districts, and partisan state legislatures mirroring the national scene — helped create a political landscape that resembles a war zone. Neither side trusts the other. No one talks across the aisle. So the gulf widens, rather than narrows.