“So what went so badly wrong with the democratic experiment?”
Nothing, it’s behaving exactly as intended by the framers which is no longer tenable as a viable system for a sustaining Republic.
“We’ve never been a more divided society.”
We’ve been as divided as now, but there will be no reconciliation or convergence this time through bloodshed. Rather the bloodshed will be aimed specifically towards separation and divergence.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s over. It really is.