Why has it come to that? Perhaps it has something to do with the way we conducted this election. John Kerry believed he had no chance in the heartland, so he ignored the voters there. For the same reason, George Bush made no real effort in states where Kerry was favored. So we did not have a national election this time. We allowed seven or eight so-called battleground states to pick our president for us. The emphasis of both campaigns was on motivating their core supporters in those states. Neither side really reached out; thus, opinion did not change, but hardened. Had Kerry won, it would have been no different.
Until Democrats again take their case to the heartland, until Republicans at least try to craft a message that has some appeal beyond their conservative base, we will remain a divided nation where finding consensus, needed to accomplish anything, is all but impossible. I find no joy in that.
By Bob Schieffer