Over the past generation we have seen the rise of a group of people who are against politics. These groups — best exemplified by the Tea Party but not exclusive to the right — want to elect people who have no political experience. They want “outsiders.” They delegitimize compromise and deal-making. They’re willing to trample the customs and rules that give legitimacy to legislative decision-making if it helps them gain power.
For example, they long for bullshit “bi-partisan” solutions to thorny problems like if women are people and if wars should be based on actual facts. They pretend there is a BOTH SIDES ARE TO BLAME for every situation, including delegitimizing people based on their race or sexual orientation, and when called on their snide shit, they write lofty view-from-nowhere crap about how rude everything is now.
Ultimately, they don’t recognize other people. They suffer from a form of political narcissism, in which they don’t accept the legitimacy of other interests and opinions. They don’t recognize restraints. They want total victories for themselves and their doctrine.
I recognize you. I see your presence, your physicality, the weight of your reality. I hear your words and can understand your viewpoint and seeing as you do not think I am a citizen under the law I AM DONE NOW OKAY.
Guys, can we fill out a checklist here, that says we have pondered one another’s existence before defeating soundly in an election the ideas that suspected terrorists have a right to guns but poor schoolchildren should earn their food?
Like I would just like to get some work done today.
The antipolitics people elect legislators who have no political skills or experience. That incompetence leads to dysfunctional government, which leads to more disgust with government, which leads to a demand for even more outsiders.
The antipolitics people don’t accept that politics is a limited activity. They make soaring promises and raise ridiculous expectations. When those expectations are not met, voters grow cynical and, disgusted, turn even further in the direction of antipolitics.
The antipolitics people refuse compromise and so block the legislative process. The absence of accomplishment destroys public trust. The decline in trust makes deal-making harder.
Word which appears nowhere in this list: REPUBLICAN.
We’re now at a point in which normal political conversation has broken down. People feel unheard, which makes them shout even louder, which further destroys conversation.
Also lives. The cocktail parties are awkward but here in Chicago they are talking about shutting down a whole school system so you’ll pardon me if I prioritize that over how hard it is for David Brooks and his friends to have nice chitty-chat.
Politics is in retreat and authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. The answer to Trump is politics. It’s acknowledging other people exist. It’s taking pleasure in that difference and hammering out workable arrangements.
Yes. Let us come to a workable arrangement with Trump and the people who support him, with the Brexiters who screamed at immigrants this week to LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE. Let us continue to bend over backwards to help and understand and pet and accommodate.
Normal people — of all political stripes — think non-white, non-straight, non-male human beings have a right to exist and be protected under the law. They have a the right to be counted as full citizens of the United States.
Trump and his followers think they don’t count as people.
Maybe, in attempting to solve this intractable, uncomfortable problem, we could compromise and BE NICE. Recognize other viewpoints. Count them as half.
No. Wait. Three-fifths?