Why has the United States become so divided politically and socially?
Jon Davis wrote a great answer:Jon Davis' answer to What has caused the political divide in America?It is well known that during the times of the Founding Fathers what is now USA was a deeply divided place.There was a great history show called il etait une fois l’Amerique (once upon a time - America) where they had this scene where they are planning to fight for independence and one of them notes something about what do they even have in common; some of them are cotton plantation owners, some are religious puritans, there’s the folks in New England, south, west, cattle ranchers etc., and none of them had much anything in common - their interests were different, their environment and livelihood and even culture was different, they even spoke different dialects and so forth..Americans never were politically unified. At best the many groups that don’t regularly see eye to eye much about anything have found that they share a common worst enemy and that their interests align in first working together to defeat the external threat and then they can resume picking each other apart.The divide in America is the result of being too successful.You guys should have never won Cold War and become the sole Superpower.Not that you have to worry.Now that with a blatant lack of real external enemies you’ve been able to rip each other apart you are growing weaker and weaker while your rivals are catching up fast.Within five decades USA will once more have such strong enemies and rivals that they can take their masks off and threaten you openly - and openly go against your interests and will often come to defeat you.It could be on the orbit of Earth and beyond that this new threat takes place as well as from the Pacific, your rivals growing industrially, economically and technologically so strong that they will pit you in for another Arms Race and Second Cold War.Then you can once again see that the external enemy is much more dangerous than the other party and that you can’t afford to tear your own country apart out of spite as you will need to work together and work hard to be able to stand your ground.There was a time when China had no enemies - then it ripped itself apart.There was a time when Europe was overwhelming might on the planet - then Europeans ripped each other to pieces and laid devastation on almost all European cities.There is not greater threat to a civilization than too much success.
Why are some liberals so condescending toward Trump supporters? Do they really feel they are superior?
They can’t believe anyone voted for someone who has spouted so much hate speech, who has so few coherent ideas, and whose tendencies seem too patently autocratic.It’s not about liberals feeling “superior”: it’s about us being morally aghast that you guys got behind a demi-man who called Mexicans “rapists” in his campaign announcement, has degraded women, attacked anyone who dares criticize him, waged a systematic war on the very free press whose constant attention to him probably factored in his victory, attacked a Gold Star family and compared his “sacrifices” as real-estate billionaire to those of the young and dead Muslim-American soldier Humayun Khan, who besmirched John McCain’s status as a war hero — when was Trump ever in Vietnam?, who wants to create a registry for Muslims (much as Hitler did for Jews — bad precedent), who has the zealous support of the KKK, who cozied up to Putin (whose government interfered in the election — in the country whose security the president is supposed to ensure), who has been nominating plutocrats and alt-right loons to very lofty and powerful positions, who promises to deport millions and break up families, to “build a Wall and make Mexico pay for it” (good luck), who will lead us into trade wars and likely encourage fiscal policy that will lead to another huge financial meltdown, calls climate change a hoax propagated by China (and therefore embraces destructive industries and deregulation, and has no agenda to help mitigate the first anthropogenic extinction in our planet’s history), etc., etc., etc.We are disappointed to think we live in a country in which our fellow citizens think that these things are presidential, that they befit the leader of the free world. We are horrified to think that America elected its own image, and that image is this. The man’s affronts to common decency and infantile vulnerability to any provocation should have disqualified him in the minds of all decent and sane people.So what the fuck happened? I am no great fan of Hillary’s. I don’t think Washington is functioning properly. But electing this wholly selfish, power-hungry golem to our highest office was not a wise alternative.It’s not so much about superiority. The feeling is “This is America in the twenty-first century! How could you?”
Why do you think we call ourselves a democracy when...?
This is a great question because there have been scores of textbooks written trying to parse the difference between "republic" and "democracy." In Greek, the words are basically interchangeable. And here's the deal: in the United States, we are both a representative democracy (basically a republic) and a direct democracy. Some things we vote on directly, like ballot measures and referendums and who our elected officials will be. Other things we influence through the people we choose to represent us.