While our polarized partisans, left and right, clearly have different world views, ideologies, and visions of “America,” they also appear to share a theory of action. Approximately, it is this: The more often, more loudly, and more harshly that we speak about our fellow citizens who disagree with us, and about their thoughts, the more likely they are to go away, shut up, or lose. Our last large test of this notion was the 2016 Presidential election.
A related idea is that, if we win the election, our fellow citizens who disagree with us will go away or shut up and let us do what we want. Democrats tried that theory in 2009; Republicans are trying it now.
The result of such trials is the same: We’re all still here, with our different world views, ideologies, visions of “America,” and political rights. We are all still stuck with each other for the long term. As usual, the most important thing we can learn is how to live together civilly and productively. Having locked ourselves and each other into our shared theory of action, we are making no progress on that task.