Has this primary election done lasting damage to the United States?
Yes, I think it has… and in ways we may not even notice for years to come.
From my point of view, as a conservative, Obama, Clinton, or Gore (Yes, I have to toss in Gore because he may yet be the candidate from a brokered Democratic Convention!) any one of the three, COULD beat McCain. Remember, a HUGE portion of the Republican Party is not going to vote for McCain under any set of circumstances. He is eminently beatable! (But only if the democrats pull together as a party.)
There is a worry shared by Americans on both sides of the political party line. Up ‘til now, nobody wants to mention it aloud. Simply put, it is this: If Obama doesn't get the democratic nomination, after coming this close, the feeling is that not only will the black voters stay home, they will believe the election was "stolen" from them... and the LA riots, of decades ago, will look like a Sunday School picnic… and the mayhem will be "country-wide". Only now is this being talked about aloud. If that should happen, it will get very ugly, very quickly, and may require US troops to quell the "unrest". That will only seal their belief the election was "rigged" and "stolen" from them. The US will resemble a "banana republic" from south of the border!
The Democrat (ic) Party may HAVE done itself some lasting harm. If the nomination goes to Hillary... now... there are certain leaders in the black community who are expected use it as a means to cause "discord" in the black community and that will cause all sorts of race problems, nationwide, for decades to come.
As for the GOP, there is absolutely no question the party has done itself lasting harm. In all likelihood, the GOP has lost at least 1/3 of its membership. The conservatives. We're just looking for a place to go, and some of us are actively trying to create a place to go.
I see no bright side to this election. No matter how it goes, the country is going to get hurt. If neither of the two parties is able to run their respective parties, how in the world, are we supposed to rely upon them to run the country?
In the past few months I have begun to actually worry about the security of the country, itself, as well as the continuation of our form of government. As a representative republic we are already finished. We are now, if anything, simply a republic. After this election, I fear we may even lose that... no matter which side wins.
As an American…I am genuinely concerned.