[Ed. – Appearances can be deceiving.]
Some days, it can seem as if half the country has come down with rabies. A lot of people seem willing to tear your head off over the smallest thing.
Part of it probably comes from the disinhibiting effect of social media—where the lack of filters or personal contact makes it easy to fire off a nasty personal attack in the heat of the moment… which only encourages people to respond in kind.
Part of it probably comes from the fact that Americans increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities. That means they’re less apt to get to know people who think differently, and therefore less likely to understand where they’re coming from.
Part of it might be attribution error: I cut you off in traffic because I’m late for a meeting; you cut me off in traffic because you’re a big fat jerk. I support my candidate because I’ve studied the issues; you support yours because the candidate lied to you and you bought it.
Part of the reason also could be simple weariness.