AMERICA'S FUTURE: Michael Gerson's column today in The WP "Obama's Strategy Hurts too" is especially poignant to me. He addresses the extreme polarization of America today and concludes that "America is on its way to a disturbing destination, a nation with responsibilities of a super power and politics of a BANANA REPUBLIC. 20 years ago this coming October, as I was leaving VA for a great job in ...NC, I spoke to the Chamber of Commerce about our national condition. I raised many eyebrows when I said, "If we don't correct the trend in our country, in 20-30 years we could be 3rd world-like, BANANA REPUBLIC." In this case, I am sorry to have been prescient. Obama didn't create the condition or start the trend, but he is now the patron saint for the radicals who have been on this course since the '60s. Many say "partisan politics" is the cause... They have it backwards. Partisan divide and political dysfuntion are the results -- 50 years of insidious attack on traditional America and pushback that may have failed forever to squelch it in November 2008.