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More division, more chaos

I read, listen to and watch what seems like a never-ending stream of news each day. Some of that news come from places many would consider “conservative”; some comes from so-called “liberal” media outlets and some from places that would consider themselves neither.

They tell a much different story. On the issue of Trump’s impeachment, the variation in coverage from one outlet to the next leaves me feeling as though America resides in two different universes. One believes the president should be booted from office for a host of transgressions. The other believes him to be a saint, no matter what he says or does.

If Trump’s election in 2016 opened an already widening divide in this country, his impeachment may very well split us in two. I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t be impeached, but our country will likely go through some torturous times as a result.

The country loses no matter the outcome.

If the House, controlled by Democrats, votes to impeach it is highly unlikely the Republican controlled Senate would remove him from office. And even if they did, can you imagine the circus that would result? I doubt Trump would leave the White House willingly. If he loses the election next year, he may not leave willingly.

If the House does not impeach, it’s hard to imagine that result sitting well with Democrats. The party is likely to take a harder turn to the left, with more radical politics and policies to follow.

It does not appear that unity is in our country’s future — only more division and chaos. It’s already to the point where neighbors, friends and family can hardly bring up Trump without inviting an argument.

There are some Trump-supporting-no-matter-what members of my extended family that I have a difficult time discussing politics with. We seem to be talking to each other in a language the other doesn’t understand.

I’m afraid that’s happening all over America. If the country can’t agree on what is and is not truth, can’t agree on a basic set of facts, it’s hard to have a discussion. And without meaningful dialogue, we can’t possibly begin to understand each other.

The media is not helping the situation. What one news outlet reports as fact, another reports as lies. What one reports as clear evidence of wrongdoing, the other reports as clear evidence of innocence. The result is a tendency of all of us to read, watch and listen to news outlets that confirm our own opinions.

Most legacy news outlets — in print, online and on TV — do their best to present the facts as they know them. But Americans increasingly are not getting their news there. They turn to the places that will reinforce what they already believe.

On impeachment, if you’re a Democrat you likely believe Trump should be kicked out of office. There are plenty of news outlets that will reinforce that viewpoint. If you’re a Republican, you probably don’t. Hannity and Company will be glad to reinforce that for you.

In the middle are some from both parties who believe Trump crossed a line, but would rather wait until there’s more information available before giving him the boot. Some believe he shouldn’t be president, but would rather handle that at the ballot box.

No matter how this all shakes out, we will be more divided as a country. We will be more divided in our communities. We will be more divided in our homes. That does not bode well for America.

Email publisher Luke Horton at luke.horton@dailyleader.com