America Has Always Been Politically Divided

Written by Pat Hickey

You got that right, Al.

Party-line, lock-step, propaganda-swallowing Americans have been with us always. New York Loyalists wanted nothing to do with the Sons of Liberty, and now Deplorables and the Resistance spit at one another.

Can’t we all get along?

Nope. Never have.

When I was ten years old, Chicagoans had the choice of reading these daily newspapers:

  • Chicago American, 1900–1939 (became the Herald-American and then Today)
  • Chicago Daily News, 1876–1978
  • Chicago Sun-Times, 1948–present
  • Chicago Tribune, 1847–present
  • Chicago Defender, 1905–present
  • Southtown Economist 1906 to 2014 (swallowed by the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times News Group)

Now, at the ripe milestone of 66 years, this Chicagoan has the choice of not reading the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

That choice is easy. One gets more honest reporting from talking to the neighbors, reading The Second City Cop, and checking in at Facebook for insightful commentary.

We do not agree. That is a good thing—for the most part. Independent thought scares people. The only independent man ever elected president of the United States was George Washington. Every president since the cherry tree axeman has armored up behind money, slogans and slobs.

Thomas Jefferson hired the first “black bag” spin-doctor in American politics, James Callendar, who wrote that John Adams had a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

Imagine Sally Kohn reacting to that nugget on CNN.

It worked for a while for Thomas Jefferson, until James Callendar was imprisoned for slandering Adams with charges that Adams wanted war with France. Then, Callendar went Dick Morris on Thoughtful Thom by ratting out the philosopher king’s affair with slave mistress Sally Hemmings.

At the microscopic level of American camp-following, from the age of ten years through young adulthood, I was taught to:

  • Never buy, read, or allow The Chicago Tribune in the house (It was a union busting, anti-Catholic, Republican rag, and still is, though now Democrats are more anti-labor and bigotedly anti-Catholic than any one who ate at Col. Robert McCormick’s bland dinner table [I read John Kass]);
  • Never cross a picket line;
  • Never countenance abortion or have anything to do with Planned Parenthood;
  • Always vote labor—real labor: the skilled and industrial trades;
  • Get a Catholic education—k-graduate school;
  • Back the White Sox, the Cardinals (football), Notre Dame, and the regular ward Democratic organization (modified this due to historical circumstances); and
  • Reject any business cards without a union bug.

I graduated from Catholic schools and began teaching in Catholic schools—not in my native Chicago, but in downstate Kankakee.

I met and came to love Republicans, farmers, blue collar heroes of Roper, A. O. Smith, Chicago Bridge and Iron, and people who have never heard of 16” softball.

As life evolved and Democrats learned to love Planned Parenthood, to deny America’s history, to toss bombs at school choice, and to deny the Euclidian realities with regard to gender and the binary definition of marriage, I became more independent in my political thinking and voting habits.

  • I voted against Barack Obama twice.
  • I voted for Donald Trump.
  • I voted for Jeanne Ives in the Illinois gubernatorial primary.
  • I will vote for JB Pritzker this November in order to help bury the political biography of Bruce Rauner.

A nation divided pops our comfort bubbles and should make us better listeners, but we always work our mouths first.

We live in the worst state of the greatest nation on earth. We disagree on many things. But that doesn’t mean we should set brown bags of fecal matter alight on our neighbors’ porches. We can and should disagree.

We have the liberty to do so—for now.

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