Thanks Philsmania for your thoughtful insights.
I agree the Democrats are engaged and more confident than 2016; I guess I see them as having no real answers for the problems we face especially this domestic terrorism issue. All I've heard them say is we need to unify and "tone down" the rhetoric. What does that mean? They need to get much more specific and direct with their ideas and solutions.
They need to be much more forceful in defense of our shared values as Americans and make clear how completely unacceptable and outrageous it is.
They need to push their Republican colleagues in Congress to act - thought and prayers are not enough. IMO there should be a bipartisan task force put together to evaluate the rise of political division and violence and report back recommendations for immediate action. This cannot be swept under the rug like all the other attacks.
I agree on the cold civil war theory - Clinton's election was a shock to the right (especially after they had sidelined Hart in 1988) and represented a sharp check on their Reagan revolution to undo the welfare state and take us back to the 1920's like FDR, Kennedy and Johnson never existed. It has been brutal since then, especially after the shattering Bush v Gore debacle in 2000, 9/11 in 2001, the Iraq War disaster, the swift boating of Kerry in 2004, the crash of 2008 and the slow recovery since 2009.
Trump has only thrown gasoline onto the fire and taken the Republican party way past Reagan and closer to David Duke. That party is headed for total implosion as soon as they lose power. They all know it which is why their "ends justify any means" and "winning is everything" burn it all down strategy is so destructive and selfish.
I too do not believe we'll descend far enough to have an actual hot civil war, but I do believe the template has been set for a much smarter, smoother demagogue to become President and lead us even further toward dictatorship. We need to get Trump and the Republicans out of office asap and re-establish very high standards for political office and the check & balance rules need to be strengthened. The corruption and pocket lining has gotten out of control as it did in the 1880's and 90's and the 1980's and 90's. We need another Teddy Roosevelt, but we also need a better informed populace, a reformed media, an effective Congress and states that continue to push the country forward. The President's power should actually be curtailed IMO and Congress should take back the authority it has given away over the decades.