If our American Presidential campaigns were envisioned as a Star Wars style movie series, the 2016 episode would be entitled “The Rise of the Nevers.“ In this episode, the electorate has been divided as never before and we see the emergence of an ominous new movement. The Republic becomes divided not by their sincere support for their respective candidates, but by their entrenched intransigent hatred for their opponents. They no longer care about their own candidate, they merely oppose the other side. They are The Nevers.
The rise of these Nevers is frightening. The movement both reflects and reinforces a level of divisiveness that can only bring strife and ruin. Many are SO hell-bent on wining that they gin up exaggerated reasons to take an extreme Never Clinton position. Their opposition to her is so vitriolic that they turn to the most deplorable candidate possible to carry their message. The opposition find this candidate so abhorrent that they can only respond with a Never Trump position.
As long as we have people electing or forced to take a Never stance, we are in such a hyperbolic state of rabid partisanship that democracy cannot function in a healthy fashion. We are proud of our system of government with its checks and balances. But that is a fragile thing. As we have seen, it is far too easy for that system to slip from gracious debate, advice, and consent, to win-at-all-costs internecine warfare that serves no other purpose than to crush and destroy the other party.
Think of our nation like an airplane. The wise founders of the airline put in place a system of check and balances, including a pilot and a copilot, to ensure that the planes will carry all passengers to their destinations safely and on-time. In most normal situations, the two pilots are expected to work as a team, cooperating for the good of all. But they are also there to watch each other and ensure that one of them does not become unhinged and choose to fly the plane into a mountainside. However, imagine the dysfunction if they were to say “I’ll never allow the other to fly this plane!” The pilot tries to fly one direction, but the copilot insists on flying a different route and they start fighting for control of the cockpit. It would be lucky if the plane did not crash in a spectacular fireball of metal and bodies.
As long as we are reduced and diminished to a Nevers attitude of elections and leadership in this country, we are pilot and copilot struggling for control of the cockpit as the plane races into a mountainside. We are Darth and Luke fighting each other when only united can they hope to oppose the truly evil Emperor. Only when the Nevers fade away and we once again express affirmative support for civil, respectful candidates who commit to work together to solve problems, rather than working merely to destroy each other, can we thrive and survive as a people and as a nation.
The true Emperor that cackles as his grand scheme unfolds while we fight senselessly against each other has a name. He is Climate Change.