8/6/2015—It was pointed out to me by a friend that the framers of our constitutional system feared, above all things, the sort of religious war that had beset Europe from 1524 to 1648 A.D. America has largely been spared this sort of Catholic – Protestant warfare that the framers had in mind. This is so despite some real anti-Catholic discrimination at various times in American history.
But let my friend suggested is that we now have a different kind of religious war going on. On the one side, there is a conservative religious alliance with capitalism. On the other, there is a kind of left wing anarchism. This is his rough approximation of the Republican Democratic split in the United States today.
I’m not sure that his description is entirely correct. But his basic insight that the division in the United States is all-encompassing and does not seem to respond to particular issue analysis seems apt. Simply put, we are divided not for a particular reason but simply because we are in two separate blocs.
I’m reminded of this because of the reception of the Iranian nuclear deal. I was very surprised that a majority of Americans do not support the deal. After all, the alternative is war at some point, as president Obama stated yesterday. I am pretty sure that a majority of Americans will support the deal.
At the moment, however, the deal is following prey to this split. Almost all Republican oppose it. Therefore, if only a few Democrats also oppose the deal, the deal fails in Congress.
The question becomes how to heal a split that is only in part based on policy differences? I don’t know the answer to that. The wars of religion in Europe only ended when Europe became exhausted.