As the days, weeks and months of the Trump presidency pass by, America becomes angrier and more divided. The nation has descended into a perpetual “us versus them” mentality, as the foundations of civic discourse (tolerance, civility, empathy) begin to tumble. I once thought that the 2016 election was the apex of the viciousness of contemporary American politics; instead, it appears as if the election was only a precursor for worse things to come. In the wake of this decline, I think it is necessary for us to look to our nation’s history books for pathways out of the rubble. If we are to progress from the decadence of the Trump Era, we must understand how civil politics once functioned.