I have to commend you two for agreeing to participate together in this column. It's a really good start. I truly believe that when the extreme elements of the two parties are taken away, what's left are people who are not really not as much different from each other than the media like to portray.
I could attempt to refute both sides of this article. But I think there's something bigger than proving who is right.
I could speculate on the future of the Republican Party, but my track record of political fortune telling is not stellar. So I shall refrain.
Even up to two years ago, I believed that three versions of western democracy--the British, the American, and the western Europen--were roughly equivilent in terms of how they managed their societies and advanced those societies. These days I am coming to the conclusion that the American version is both inferior and decaying more rapidly.
For example, Canadians (British version) do not believe our elections are "stolen" from the legitimate winner. Some of us might not like result, but there's never been any talk of a widespread voter fraud. Part of the reason is how our elections are tabulated. Another part is that we don't have a presidential position--with its high stakes outcome in a winner-take-all contest. Canadian democracy is still reasonably sound.
Some 30 years ago, I read Gibbon's "Fall and Decline of the Roman Empire." What impressed me was that this state fell gradually--and people could not see the fall. When Alaric sacked Rome in 410 AD, the Romans saw the Roman repulsion of Alaric as a sign of Roman strength.
Some of Gibbon's readers of that time saw similarities between the British Empire and the Roman Empire. And today we see Britain just being a big island in the North Sea. Empires eventually fall. And Americans are ignoring the signs of their own fall.
What comes after? If we leave the building of the next USA (or parts of the USA) to the victors of whatever warfare will have been conducted, we should not be surprised that we won't like those results.
Rather I believe that we can build a new democracy while this current one is falling.
This version is much different current versions of western democracy. For starters, there are no political parties or noisy election campaigns. Instead of a "culture of conflict", we have a "culture of consultation."
Civilly discussing the blue/red divide will undoubtedly have benefits. But maybe it's time to go beyond the blue/red divide.