This post on NPR about the song "Kumbaya" and the cynicism it now inspires speaks directly to my anomie about the state of political affairs in our country. I highly recommend reading it. And yes, when did it become a problem to advocate for peace, for outreach, for understanding? This is precisely what is wrong with American politics today.
Partisan diatribes are nothing new. See, for example, the below-posted political cartoon from an 1868 Harper's Bazaar equating the Democratic candidates in the 1868 presidential election with the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan, which I used with my students on Wednesday (though sadly, depending upon context this accusation may not always have been very far off base):
So, we've always had a difficult time getting along. Does that mean, however, we should not only throw up our hands, but begin to actively ridicule the idea that we could ever come together and work for positive change? That we should be trying to reach out to each other and forge alliances for a better future? We deserve better--for ourselves, for our children, and for the rest of the world.