Students of theoretical physics are familiar with the principle that if matter and antimatter come into contact, both are instantly annihilated.
Political discourse in 21st century America has become so toxic and polarized that it has come to resemble the realm of quantum physics, with little – if any – room for agreement or even civil discourse. The two camps – the Republican and the Democrat – cannot coexist without destroying each other or reducing the ideas and policies of the other to ruin.
As we enter the home stretch of the 2022 midterm elections and the starting gate of the 2024 presidential campaigns, it has become clear to everyone except the most hardline Pollyanna that every issue of public policy – including guns, abortion, immigration, energy and others – is played out on a “zero-sum” game board. Any oxygen that might otherwise sustain civil debate or compromise has been sucked out.
Consider abortion. Since the Supreme Court declared last summer that the 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade was constitutionally flawed and that now access to abortion would be considered a matter for the citizens of every state to decide, the debate has become so heated that, for abortion advocates, no tactic is off limits – even violence against Supreme Court justices. Such actions, while not explicitly endorsed by Democratic Party leaders, enjoy the implicit support of many of them.
The issue of Second Amendment rights, always a hotly debated issue in the political arena and the media, also remains uncompromising. Virtually every incident involving murder, such as the murder of two sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve warrants in suburban Atlanta last week, becomes an opportunity for Democratic officials blame ‘guns’ rather than the deeply uncivil and violent behavior of so many young men today.
“Gun control,” a salient campaign issue for Democrats for more than two generations, has supplanted “crime control” in debates about how to protect law-abiding citizens in cities across the nation. While 30 years ago many national Democrats, including then-Senator Joe Biden, publicly endorsed tough-on-crime legislation, today those same liberals are making thinly veiled calls to weaken, even defunding the police, and blaming guns, not criminals, for the rising rates of violent assaults. criminality.
There was even a long time ago when a deal could be reached across the aisle to protect key and practical Second Amendment rights, such as the individual’s right to legally transport firearms by interstate carrier across state borders, which has been the law since 1986. Today, such an agreement would be impossible.
Immigration, another hotbed of partisan politics, was once an issue on which at least limit an agreement could be reached. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was orchestrated by President Reagan in conjunction with members of Congress from both political parties.
Today, the gap between the two Parties on immigration policy is so wide that agreement, even on the most minor aspects of the problem, is impossible. This situation is not difficult to understand, given that Biden’s “open arms” policy compels massive numbers of immigrants to cross our southern border illegally and unimpeded. They are transported at the expense of US taxpayers to cities in Texas and elsewhere across the country.
With regard to energy, not so long ago, leaders of the two main political parties could discuss these issues in a civil way and even pass energy legislation that advanced the goal of national “energy independence” – seen as both an economic and economic goal. a national security advantage for the United States. Not anymore.
Immediately after taking office in January 2021, Biden took steps to ensure that the energy independence we had achieved under his predecessor’s policies was undone. Today, this administration’s aggressive pursuit of the so-called “green energy” program has made compromising energy needs in the name of national security a pipe dream.
It has been more than a century since Albert Einstein and other physicists first hypothesized and calculated the interactions between matter and antimatter. Ongoing contemporary experiments with the most sophisticated equipment continue to confirm these early theoretical predictions that if these two basic elements of the physical universe come into contact, both will be annihilated. Whether our political system will suffer the same fate remains an open question.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and served as a CIA official in the 1970s. now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia, and runs the Liberty Guard.