I've been thinking about this issue, Hal, and I've concluded that from every corner of grievance this high fever afflicting the republic is over a breach of the social contract. Remember that Hobbes (Thomas, not Calvin) observed that, absent the rule of law or political order, our lives were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" and destined for "a war of all against all", an outcome that is serious, if not unprecedented.
As a case in point, while on a walk from Riverside Park yesterday afternoon I topped the levee near the pumphouse and noticed some guy pouring fuel over a large cardboard box full of shredded paper in front of his pickup parked on the river bank.
Evidently, this white trash P.O.S. couldn't be bothered to use his own garbage cans or get to the landfill on Saturday so he thought it'd be okay to drive into the riparian zone, dump hazmat, create a fire hazard, leave an ash pile, and create a choking smoke stream for the rest of us to enjoy not 30 yards from a city park where he wouldn't have dared do the same thing. Why would that be?
Five minutes downstream, I watched two ORVs running between the river and the high water mark and then avoided people too lazy to exit their vehicle, walk or bike the levee, or keep their dog(s) on-leash or observe a reasonable speed. I've walked past obscenities sprayed on the public bridges, deer carcasses tossed by poachers over the embankment, trash scattered along the road for Keep Miles City Beautiful volunteers to pick up once a year, and slash left by operators dropping trees in the woodland. These vices point to a broken social contract and a vacuum of political order. An otherwise peaceful walk by the river found me swimming the angry tide. For a moment, I even empathized with landowners resisting stream access by the general public.
Miles City attracted me as a place I once described as "uncommonly courteous" to friends and family. Now I'm repulsed by what is becoming a no man's land of the commonly discourteous and it angers me.