This country is now so divided along political ideologies that many Americans are not only disillusioned with the political class but with friends and family members as well. Discussions involving current issues among those with opposing viewpoints can easily lead to shouting matches, name-calling, shunning and other disrespectful behaviors. This pattern can be seen with those on the Left as well as the Right and affects citizens of all ethnicities and ages. The twenty-five interviewees in this book have willingly expressed to the author negative and sometimes overbearing reactions when they have voiced their opinions. As a result, friendships have been terminated, family relationships have become tentative and people associate with only those who are harmonious politically. The one common solution has been to avoid discussions of matters of state, but this leads to only more polarization.
My introduction stresses the gravity of this dynamic and offers one possible cause by explaining the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. My conclusions are based on what I have gleaned from the interviews and my own convictions since I have not found any empirical data on the cause of this divide.
We are a nation sorely in need of unification--from the grass roots to those in our highest offices. The testimonies illustrate this need. The respondents live in geographically different parts of the country and represent a cross section of races, religions, ages and political affiliations. A few are nationally known and some have chosen to use pseudonyms for fear of government or peer reprisals. But each one loves this country and recognizes that this division is proceeding at an all too treacherous pace.
While eighty percent of Americans are not politically engaged, the divide between Republicans and Democrats who are, is stronger than ever. Therefore, millions have experienced dissentsion when they dared to differ. This literary work and topic will appeal to a large audience of adult readers who are disturbed by disrupted relationships because of politics.