Placards placed along a trail your correspondent followed late last week through the upstate forest explain how the rebels defeated their better-armed foes. They also provide a snapshot of the political environment in the colonies back then.
“In the war-torn Carolina backcountry in 1780, allegiances were bitter, confused and sometimes fluid. Some men did switch sides, even in the heat of battle. After all, the foes firing uphill at them were their own neighbors — and brothers,” reads one placard, positioned atop Kings Mountain a few feet from a monument honoring the colonial forces.
For the last decade, U.S. politics has had a certain 1780 feel. Well, more like a “1776!” feel. That’s what some Trump-supporting rioters were yelling as they ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in search of congressional Democratic leaders and then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Political violence has been carried out by some, and outright condoned or lightly condemned by GOP lawmakers and officials. Siblings have duked it out over Trump and his “Make America Great Again” movement. Rather than the forests, mountains and swamps of South Carolina and other states, Americans have duked it out on social media sites, trading bayonets for tweets.
Trump has politicized any and every aspect of American life since he stepped foot on that Trump Tower escalator in 2015 to announce his presidential bid. He won over just enough independent voters in just enough states to win in 2016, but too many in too many places switched sides four years later.
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