The cartoon made me feel very sad. In nations where elephants are part of the ecosystem or even part of the work force, the rare elephant that attacks elephants, man, or property is nearly always explainable. Age, illness, wounds, or rage due to loss of a member of the herd are usually to blame. When talking to moderate republicans, I do not see the intractable “my way is the only way” attitude. At the kitchen table, it is usually easy to compromise on the way things should be done as long as you’re not talking about abortion or gun rights. I know many Republicans who are adamant on abortion and guns, but ambivalent on gay marriage. The democrats I know are as concerned about the budget as the republicans, they differ on where taxes, subsidies, and entitlements should be adjusted/eliminated, but they are willing to give ideas a chance and a time period in which to see if they will work.I do not understand extremism in people who have the intelligence and communication skills to reach national office. Is it because no one else ran for the job? Is it because the people willing to invest in the campaign of a person wants one who they are certain will do what they want? International companies and money market managers make fortunes off of the changes of value in the dollar, yuan, and euro. Is there a profit motive in some politicians, immune to insider trader laws, and stockbrokers to keep our economy fluctuating wildly?Whatever the cause, until Americans start talking to one another with civility and respect, until they start hearing people with whom they disagree, there can be no conversation. Listening solely to those who are stating what we want to believe never gives us a chance to find out what we NEED to KNOW. 2 + 2 = 4. That’s a fact. 2x + 2y = 4 is unlikely. We need to know the variables before we can find a solution. And in politics, that requires open minds and civil discourse.Respectfully,C.