Agreed on both counts (see, we do agree … sometimes ). There is no lack of examples of uncivil behaviour from both sides (again, why are there only two sides ).Incivility isn’t new in American politics. Look no further than Jackson nor is violence as there’s been cane beatings and fisticuffs on the house floor nor racism/anti Semitism such as McCarthy. No our system has been ugly, violent with marked extremes. Nor has an unbiased press been the norm even from our inception with newspapers always having been present that were the mouthpieces of a particular party. What’s new is the increasing efficiency of public manipulation and a shift in attitude where pseudoscience and pseudo news are accepted as fact in the absence of critical thinking. Climate change deniers, creationism, and flat worlders being current examples.
Amusingly, or perhaps disturbingly, I’m just covering these issues of fake news and the decline of critical thinking in civic discourse in my book. It was written in 1983. Makes me wonder how much further we can fall...