It transpired that the two parties prepared a love feast, and resolved to live together in perfect harmony, and be tolerant of their foibles. Republicans tried white wine, and liked it; Democrats experimented with martinis, and pronunced them "good." And both found that gay marriages, paté, and skinny dipping was really okay and a matter of choice. A Kardashian was voted Governor of a Western state, and Lindsay Lohan was elected to the House.
Issues such as abortion, health care, immigration, and religion became the stuff for the dustbin of history: they were truly a matter of the past, much like Free Silver and Prohibition.
America went into a true golden age. And the only group to suffer were the newspaper and television journalists. However, sportswriters and gossip columnistswent into a true Arcadia! Given that there was less hard news, people turned more to sports and the real-life actions of celebrities. Newspapers had to rely on gossip to massage their readership into reading. It was just as well that Hollywood was still able to manufacture notoriousness and scandalous behavior: Tinseltown had almost a hundred year's history of doing that.
All wondered at this Golden Age, and thanked their deity of choice for this blessing. Atheists thanked Darwin.
But a little issue began to fester with time. People became increasingly aware that the perennial question was unresolved: Over or Under?
Specifically, should people hang the toilet paper so that it unwinds over or under the spool? It may surprise you that serious research has been done on that topic. I mean serious research, and repeatedly! [Replication is good: it helps provide grad students with employment.]
For instance, on January 27, 2010, the 100th anniversary of Thomas Crapper's death (no s**t!), Cottonelle launched a "Great Debate" advertising campaign, inviting American consumers to vote their preference at a Kimberly-Clark website. The result was that 72% had voted a preference for having the toilet paper go over the spool. In other surveys, Cottonelle found that "Overs" are more likely than "Unders" to notice a roll's direction (74%), to be annoyed when the direction is incorrect (24%), and to have flipped the direction at a friend's home (27%). Clearly, this is something about which there are strong feelings!
It was a slow process, but over the next twenty years these strong feelings resulted in 26 states mandating that toilet paper always unroll over the spool, and called violations were considered a misdemeanor in law. Unrolling it under the spool was required by law in 11 states, largely in the Northeast but also including Oregon!
However, the real violence started in Iowa, of all places. A fracticious group, the Under the Roll Liberation Front, demanded minority rights for those preferring the toilet paper to go under the roll, and began a guerilla campaign of changing the orientation of toilet paper rolls in rest rooms and home bathrooms. This underground movement spread enough for the Governor of neighboring Illinois to declare a state of emergency and post guards along the Mississippi River to keep the Under the Roll advocates from invading his state! The NY Times and the Chicago Sun-Times had pro- and con- editorials on this toilet paper movement. There were Under demonstrations and Over counterdemonstrations that were viewed nightly on the news, and the pundits weighed in whereas before they had to be content weighing in at the health club.
And the media was, paradoxically, happy. And the major proponents of the Under and Over movements got a lot of attention. But, things can go to extremes. Some Fundamentalist television ministers began to clamor for a crusade to suppress this heresy!
The Albagensians did not have toilet paper in those days, so we cannot say whether they would hang toilet paper so that it unrolls under or over the spool.
The righteous way of hanging toilet paper.
The way of hanging toilet paper chosen by heathens.