Democracy as a government relies upon the ability of factions to compromise on divisive issues through rational debate instead of violence. The current political power brokers have figured out how to short circuit this process by focusing national attention on issues which are based on differences of non-negotiable, irrational moral sentiment, and are thus not subject to resolution through rational reconciliation. They've broken democracy.
Totally independent of any spin from either side, I'd say this is the most accurate assessment of the state of our Union to date. It is imperative that we replace the mass media with real discussion and debate... Now!