In the past week or so we have watched stunning examples of where we are as a divided nation. The left is unhinged, and with the retirement of Justice Kennedy, things are going to get much, much worse. I am afraid that in the months to come the recent treatment of Sarah Huckabee, Elaine Chao, Kirstjen Nielsen and Florida Attorney General Bondi will look tame. When we have a sitting Congresswoman yelling to a crowd and telling them to harass and bully people they disagree with, anytime, anywhere, even at their private homes, and the people cheer it, society has crossed another line. I believe in free speech, it is a right in a civil society. But leaders are not leading when they are yelling, and certainly not when saying, "No Peace, No Sleep." I hope and pray that the rhetoric of Maxine Waters and others will moderate before someone is seriously hurt or worse.

But, based on the reaction from the left in the last 24 hours to the news of Justice Kennedy's retirement, I expect the divisions in our country to deepen. Their response is understandable, in a way, because the Courts have been the reliable path to push the progressive agenda. The battle lines are already being drawn, and we have a front row seat in North Dakota. With the media playing a significant role in the widening division in our country, news reports no longer focus on the facts. Instead they push an agenda, a bias. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes it is clear, but it is opinion, not reporting. If you are going to report news do so, with fact, researched and verified facts. If you want share your opinions, write an op-ed.

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Democrats and the media (I know, redundant) are pushing the idea that the lack of civility and increasing division started with the Trump campaign. A local radio talk radio host loudly made that claim this past week. Good try, but no. My family and I remember all too well the treatment I received from that same talk show host and his cohort at the time. I, and other conservatives, were attacked day after day for months, not on our policy differences, but on our appearance, our intellect and our beliefs.

No, incivility, coarseness and division did not start with Trump. It has been building for quite some time in this country. We are not going to agree on everything, or even most things. But we need to be able to express our opinions without threats.

Political discourse is driven by emotion, not fact. We all see things through different filters, yet at the end, for the most part, we all want the same thing--to live good lives, help each other, love thy neighbor. How we get there is where the differences come in.

To quote Michael Josephson, "What you permit you promote, what you allow you encourage, what you condone you own." Are the inciting words and directions of Maxine Waters to be permitted, allowed, condoned or will we see a call for civility to return?

Grande represented the 41st District in the N.D. Legislature from 1996 to 2014. She is a wife, mom, grandma, lover of life and Jesus. Opinions are solely her own.