Politics has become a lifestyle, part of the "Big Sort" driving so much in our culture. That's why the NRA's marketing these days has so little to do with gun policy and so much to do with smash-mouth cultural resentments.
This Federal government shutdown is the latest antic by the Tea Party Republicans to achieve by sheer force what they did not achieve in the most recent national elections and cannot achieve by attempting to extort concessions
The upheaval in today's Republican Party started after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but didn't come to the fore until Newt Gingrich's takeover of the House in 1995. Now it has become a real threat to the nation.