Can you name which of these you have seen during your lifetime?
1. Decline (1960-2016) Economic decline that stagnates or reduces the everyman’s quality of life.. Harder times make harder attitudes and partisan extremists rise to office on a tide of resentment.
2. Gridlock (1970-2016) Political gridlock caused by partisans refusing to compromise makes it impossible for a representative government to resolve societal tensions and disagreements.
3. Hate (1980-2016) Vicious cycle of partisanship and gridlock create an atmosphere in which characterizing opponents as evil, acting out of intentional harm to the country, or as agents of foreign forces becomes increasingly common. At this point the “moral universes” and worldviews of the citizens will become increasingly polarized to the point where dialogue is no longer possible.
4. Coming Apart (2015-???). The war of words turns into actual violence. Unlike the first three steps, this phase can move very quickly and has distinct signs of progression.
4A) An increased atmosphere of violence surrounding political events. Scuffles.
4B) Organized mobilization by partisans and counterpartisans for the sake of confrontation. Low grade street violence.
4C) Visual differentiation of partisans (uniforms, different color clothing, symbols). Street marching.
4D) Partisans, wearing different colors, marching in the streets while carrying weapons.