The United States, apparently alone among industrialized nations, is caught up in a struggle between two extremely different political persuasions.
It’s as if a competent lifeguard is trying to rescue a remarkably incompetent, very large swimmer. The lifeguard is doing her best (in this case, it’s probably a “her”), but the swimmer (probably a “him”) is in a panic, insanely struggling and dragging them both under the waves.
People can see this death struggle from the shore, but they’re not paying much attention. They’re mostly worrying about their tans and whether it’s time to go buy a hot dog.
One problem with this metaphor is that the people on the beach are being dragged down too. Unfortunately, they’re too preoccupied, uninterested or stupid to notice what’s going on.
The swimmer, of course, would call himself a “conservative”. A more accurate designation would be “radical right-wing ideologue”.
(Postscript: I was asked who the lifeguard represents. Metaphors are especially open to interpretation, but let’s say the lifeguard represents those thoughtful people who are paying attention to what’s happening to this country.)