(Sept. 10) -- A tiny Christian sect in Gainesville, Fla., threatens to burn the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11; tensions continue to rise over an Islamic community center near New York City's ground zero; the construction site of a new mosque in suburban Tennessee got torched last month. And Glenn Beck recently warned his listeners that the country is reaching "a point where the people will have exhausted all their options. When that happens, look out."
The question is: How far can this go on before we reach a tipping point for large-scale violence?
If you don't think that's a legitimate question, just ask Louisville, Ky., the now quiet and progressive city on the Ohio River.
Back in 1855, with the Whig Party in ruins, the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic Know-Nothing Party emerged in the disarray with stunning success -- much like today's tea party phenomenon. Know-Nothing mayors took power in Baltimore, Chicago, Boston and even Washington, D.C.
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By the way, Gina Misiroglu of Red Room put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways in which she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.