Americans on all sides complain bitterly about the polarization of our politics, but these divisions are nothing new. The Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations all featured angry, uneasy electorates in both presidential and Congressional contests. The last time Americans managed to unify was 1984, when Ronald Reagan won re-election by sweeping 49 of the 50 states. He only lost Minnesota by less than 2/10ths of one percent, preventing an unprecedented 50 state sweep.
Among demographic groups, Reagan won 61% of voters under 25, 62% of men, and 58% of women. He even won 29% of self-described liberals! He did it with a positive, patriotic “It’s Morning in America” campaign, avoiding slashing attacks on his opponent, Walter Mondale, or anyone else.
With the Mueller Report behind him, Trump should emulate the Gipper’s success, emphasizing a booming economy and visions for the future, drowning the polarization in a flood of optimism and good feeling.