A deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open as the city awaited JFK.
Nope. The Tea Party had its seeds planted over a century before that…well before the Civil War’s lead-up brought the second major realignment of political parties (the first being the collapse of the Federalists following the War of 1812) ; The big businessmen and Birchers of the 50s and early 60s trace their ideological DNA not to JP Morgan or Jay Gould or Andrew Mellon, but way back to the patricians like, zounds, our hero Thomas Jefferson. There was a group of men who wanted a buffer of contented, ignorant yeoman farmers (the current Tea Party “rank and file”) around them and their agribusiness (often slave-based) and occasional timber, mining/smelting and land gobbling ventures. Across the buffer was this notion, (ironically for Jefferson, as he was a booster of the French Revolution, the Enlightenment, etc.) that there existed a class of urban British- or German-modeled collectivist-minded townies, artisans, ”mechanics”, traders, sea travelers and the bank/new industrial types (yet another kind irony) who would willfully destroy and supplant the former ideal.