You may have noticed that this column took a hiatus; it wasn’t just because of the hectic holidays. I was overwhelmed by the bulk of fan mail piling on my desk and filling up my email inbox, and my schedule was booked answering phone calls from enthusiastic readers. I even considered retiring — why proclaim my views anymore? I had changed the minds of every newspaper reader within twenty miles. Everyone agrees with me. Mission accomplished.
Truth is, I’m tired of the opinion war. It’s as if the nation and the world is frozen in a icy block of eternal, unresolved discussion. Teetering on the edge of an all-out catastrophe.
I suspect that the increasing polarization of politics coincides — if it is not caused — by the near-omnipresence of social media. News can be tweeted or blogged faster than newspapers can publish it. Conclusions are slanted and warped toward our agendas before we can assess all of the facts. Smartphones wait in our pockets like revolvers in holsters, prepared to be drawn the moment an angry rant or a vociferous meme rears its ugly head.