Commentary: U.S. is breaking in two

A friend of mine just called from Britain, and he was distressed.

"Mate," he said, "I think your country is broken."

Normally, your first reaction to a comment like that -- before you even think about it -- would be to defend the United States.

I started to respond, and then just sighed.

My pal is right.

What's happening, and what the rest of the civilized world is watching with growing dismay, is the United States splitting in half.

I used to love watching political shows on TV, most particularly panel-type programs with lots of give and take among advocates of various programs and positions.

But that type of discussion is just about dead.

What you see now are two sides -- like the Hatfields and McCoys -- lined up on opposite sides of a growing divide.

The election of Barack Obama, which should have been one of the greatest healing moments in the country's history, instead has had the opposite effect.

The Republican Party has taken a position entirely new to this country.

To read the complete column, visit www.mercedsunstar.com.