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OPINION - Different... changed forever... irreconcilable

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)  As the dust settles from the Supreme Court session, it's a mixed bag for conservatives. Gay marriage is, for now, a states rights issue. Conservatives will hold Nebraska and South Carolina. They'll lose Oregon and Vermont. If you wish abortion was left as a states rights issue, at least same-sex relationships will be for the time being.

But for traditionalists -- people who remember the way the country used to be, and think it was better then -- yesterday closes the door on a return to the Great Society days, or even the era of Reagan. Post World War II America has been been a slow, steady march of changing into something... different. That change is now totally unanchored from the country's past. For better or worse, there is no going back. The country that our grandparents grew up in will be unrecognizable in the future.

Tonight I openly wonder if we're becoming two nations - irreconcilable. Urban-and-coastal America will be liberal, accepting of rapid social change, a high-tax and high-government-expectations fiefdom. Heartland America is the land of cowboy-like self reliance, the 'dont tread on me' land. Will the two have anything in common? If you live in one, would you ever live in the other? The glue that makes us Americans is slowly being pulled apart.

Chris Conley