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A close friend recently observed that the national media – print and visual – by and large have taken the USA’s public down an all-but-inescapable rabbit hole of deception and self-serving hatred of the opposition. Violence from the left is on the uptick. Decorum and good taste are on the wane. Humor isn’t funny anymore. And everybody is fair game when it comes to name-calling and head bashing.

“Can you even fathom what the next presidential election is going to be like?” my friend wrote. “No matter who wins, it’s going to be all impeachment all the time. The only variable will be which media outlet(s) will be covering it. Man, I never knew a nation could go downhill so far so fast.”

Indeed, we are a divided nation — not so much because of our ideological differences. Our division is skin-deep, emotional, rooted in unsubstantiated opinions (aka donkey scat) and given legs by those who believe what they want to believe, and the facts be damned.

Blame the schism on several factors:

Social media, particularly the cell phone and the iPad, have fueled the ripple effect of lies and made-up “truths.”

Camera-hog politicians simply spit out the latest hate speech against President Trump without taking the time and effort to identify real problems and their root causes.

Our so-called news organizations — particularly in the television industry — are unable or unwilling to exercise good news judgment and stop airing the senseless flash points that continue to divide us further. Instead of focusing on solutions, the messengers continue to trumpet the problems, whether those problems have merit or not. (Television cameras at the White House briefings? Oh yeah, that’s a life-or-death issue.)

Back in the day, if somebody filed a lawsuit, newspaper editors usually turned an unseeing eye. Lawsuits were not news. Why? Because ANYbody can file a lawsuit — and to do so is not necessarily newsworthy. Such activity would not get ink and be reported at least until the lawsuit reached a courtroom, where the charges would be aired publicly, and the defendant remained innocent until proven guilty.

But today, every time some bozo passes gas in the wind, he gets 10 minutes of face time on TV.

The public has allowed itself to be brainwashed, resulting in too many of us believing that we are sheep, willingly being led by the go-getters in Washington who apparently control every facet of our lives — a belief that could not be further from the truth.

Too many of those saddled with responsibility and who exercise lawful control have put God in the back seat, or have kicked Him out the door altogether as we speed along toward implosion.

And we continue to treat the mentally handicapped as equals in our society, free to roam our streets and drive on our highways, causing mayhem and death. Instead, they should be institutionalized and attired mentally and emotionally in ways that will prevent them from hurting themselves and others.

We’ll get through this era of revolutionary malcontent. We always do. We’ve got the right guy at the top of the pyramid to get ‘er done. All we have to do is keep showing up at the ballot box and the public rallies to support him. Meanwhile, it behooves us to continue working outside the purview of the TV cameras to restore law and order at the community level on the left and the right coasts, and in the contrarian communities in between.