Maybe it's too much to hope for. But I wonder if we aren't watching the beginning of a decline in the effectiveness of the Republican Party's divide-and-conquer strategy.
For nearly half a century the G.O.P. has displayed an unparalleled mastery of the ugly art of devising campaigns that appeal to the very worst in us. It's always the whites against the blacks, the middle class against the poor, the conservatives against the hated liberals, with the word "liberal" spat out with the kind of disgust that's usually reserved for child molesters.
The party's at it again this year with talk of defacing the Constitution with its first discriminatory amendment, a ban on gay marriage.
But there are other currents moving through this election season that may tend to pull some diverse segments of the population closer together politically.