The following two quotes, to me, illustrate our time in history better than anything else I've read recently.
"I didn't vote for him, but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."  --John Wayne, after the election of John F. Kennedy, 1960
"I hope he fails" -- Rush Limbaugh, after the election of Barack Obama, 2008
As a liberal, I never thought I'd say this, but I miss William F. Buckley. Remember him?  To me, he represents a time when Americans were still able to iron out their differences with reasoned discourse.  A time when the losers of those debates were willing to accept the will of the people.

On the other hand, politics -- American politics in particular -- has always been a dirty business.  President Obama noted this in a recent speech to graduates of the University of Michigan:
But I think it's important that we maintain some historic perspective. Since the days of our founding, American politics has never been a particularly nice business. It's always been a little less gentile during times of great change. A newspaper of the opposing party once editorialized that if Thomas Jefferson were elected, "Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced."  Not subtle. Opponents of Andrew Jackson often referred to his mother as a "common prostitute," which seems a little over the top.
Sound familiar?

I haven't written in a while because recent political events in my home state of Arizona (yeah, I know) have had me curled up in a fetal position for the last few weeks. It's legislation that concerns me on both a political and personal level.  I worry that someday my wife will be out shopping, and end up at INS because some over-zealous cop decides that a driver's license and social security card aren't proof enough of citizenship.  It's ill-conceived, poorly thought-out legislation that my state is famous for.  One can build bigger and better fences, or station troops on our border, but it will only provide the illusion of security.  True immigration reform won't happen until the same opportunities are available on both sides of the border.  That is a noble endeavor and, as such,  will take hard work.  Unfortunately, too hard for some.

I've just ordered a book from Amazon: Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking AmericaGive it a read.