Now, presidents often appoint judges who twist the Constitution. Presidents issue executive orders that turn previous legislation upside down. Presidents effectively overrule actions of governors and mayors. Overarching power generates not just dislike but hatred. To improve the atmospherics of public life, we need to decentralize, returning authority whenever possible to localities and private citizens.
A second reason for the growth in political hatred is our decreased willingness to see God's providence in election outcomes. Nineteenth century political campaigns tended to be hard-fought, but when they ended the disappointed losers often waxed theological about the results: "God's will be done." When feelings ran so high that such reconciliation did not occur, the results could be dire: The Civil War is Exhibition A.
I would not have liked it had Al Gore won in 2000, but had that happened I would have stilled my disappointment (as I did following Bill Clinton's successes) with the thought that God still has the whole world in His hands. Without that faith, and with the concentration of power in Washington, every election may look like Armageddon, and every winner may look, to the disappointed losers, like Satan enthroned.
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