Since at least the Reagan era, Republicans have treated most serious ideological differences as the moral equivalent of war. This has been especially true since the ascent of Newt Gingrich.
We see this in the battles over abortion, the Culture Wars, Obamacare, gun rights, etc., ad nauseum.
What does it do to us when we treat these disputes, these deeply-felt arguments, as the moral equivalent of war?
It ruins our judgment & distorts our moral compass. It convinces us that compromise is evil. It plays to our self-righteousness & pride, the worst demons of human nature.
We go to war, not against some foreign aggressor or a terrorist wearing a suicide vest, but against our fellow citizens.
We go to war, and in war we escalate what is permissible. We lie, and we excuse the lie. We’re at war.
We accept lies & propaganda that plays on our fears and overcomes our sense of decency. No amount of horse manure is too much for us to swallow and spread on Facebook if it makes our enemies look bad.
It’s all permissible, because we have convinced ourselves that we’re at war. Against other Americans. THEY’RE the enemy, and nothing is acceptable but total victory.