It’s incredibly disturbing to hear a former president compare the extreme political polarization that we are currently experiencing to the state of affairs that led to the Civil War and the destruction of a large section of the country. To reduce our current political climate to Red v. Blue states completely misses the crucial point that no issue currently dividing Americans does so in the way that slavery did. Our politicians are not beating one another in the Senate chamber. President Obama did not enter office following the secession of any one region of the country and it is safe to say that he will never have to order out the military to put down a rebellion. Comparing 2010 with 1861-65 not only grossly distorts the past, it clouds the salient conditions that led to Americans butchering one another for 4 years. It trivializes our Civil War. President Carter’s rhetoric only adds to the perception that what we are currently experiencing in our political culture constitutes a dangerous and new shift. Just study the political world of the 1790s if you have any doubt about this. In other words, CALM DOWN!