The Washington Post

Divided We Can’t Stand Each Other

Now we like it! In a new poll (USA Today) the number of people who LIKE the gridlock in Washington is way UP, not quite 50-50 but we’re working on it. Now we think a house divided against itself stands to reason, and I guess it does, if you take what passes for reason as our new standard.

Maybe we have succeeded in externalized the dysfunctional family dynamics in our own crazy families to be our standard for politics on a national level. You know how overwhelmingly intense (and pointless) can be the need to maintain a feud with a family member who so egregiously dissed you about the, what was it again?, oh it doesn’t matter, it’s the principle of it all that matters.

The advice columns overflow with bizarre family fights over pretty much every imaginable transgression and implacable response. We are the Global Reality Show. Somewhere off-camera the director keeps asking all the participants: “Are you just going to TAKE that? Are you going to let them GET AWAY with that?” No we are not. We are going to get angry and cut off our noses to spite the other guy’s face. We will shoot ourselves in the foot in a crime of passion and in a fury of anger at the pain we will kick the wall with the other foot. We will not even consider meeting the other person halfway because we can’t walk anymore, and it’s all their fault.

Does this make any sense? Well, no, that the whole point. Anger isn’t supposed to make sense. It’s supposed to sate our craving for Dark Adrenaline, which we have become addicted to since the entertainment industry discovered it was the last over-the-airwaves addictive substance we were susceptible to. So what are the only kind of laws we can still pass? In a House Divided, we Stand Our Ground.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.

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