A series of pipe bombs intended for former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, CNN and others leaves a troubling pall over the nation as mid-term elections approach.

No matter who is behind the crudely made bombs, the act is terrorism and should be dealt with aggressively when the individual or individuals responsible are arrested. In the meantime, some of the intended victims of the bombs and President Donald Trump are calling for more civility in the American political arena.

Whoever is behind mailing the homemade devices has not, to this point, left a clue about why the individuals — all Democrats — were targeted. Speculation is mounting that the political divisions and harsh tone of American politics are to blame for inspiring such a deadly, intended act. But, again, that’s only speculation.

From the time of the presidential campaign and election, a country already slipping into political polarization only became more divided. The tradition of winning and losing with grace seems to be passing away before Americans’ eyes.

For generations, American political fights have often been fierce, colorful and dramatic in an effort to get voters to the polls. That spirit in itself is not destructive, but continuing to fight and ramp up emotional imagery and accusations unrelentingly is akin to pouring gas on a fire. Unfortunately, both sides of the political spectrum have individuals who fit in this category.

The end of a presidential election should be the beginning of the nation pulling itself together to work for the betterment of the United States. The tone in Washington and in many states from politicians and some of their more raucous supporters has been inflammatory to the point that Americans looking for peace and progress are seeing little from those who should be using their talents to lead.

The idea that members of one political party or another in this country are singled out for death or intimidation is a severe threat to American values. No other country has accomplished so much through a political system that empowers people, not politicians, to carry the final say of power.

Sinking into the abyss of hatred and retribution against anyone who carries a different view on political or social view is not what makes American great. Tough debates and voting are the hallmark of American strength. The threat of moving into an age of division that threatens the spirit and effectiveness of the people’s political system does not bode well.

The truth behind the maker or makers of the pipe bombs will surface soon enough. The fact that an attempt to deliver these devices to Americans who have held positions of leadership, no matter the political party, is a slap in the face of all Americans.

We can argue and feel strongly about whatever view suits us, but the final resting place of all disagreements for Americans should be at the ballot box. Agreeing to engage in civil disagreement is part of our political system.

Coming together after elections, no matter which party is in the leadership seat, is healthy for the country. That’s how the United States survived its early years and moved forward to become a great nation.

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