Civility? In This Economy?!
It’s a real pleasure to hear a real president engage reporters at a real press conference with real responses about real problems. And the cherry on top is having those reporters matter-of-factly say “Thank-you, Mr. President-elect.” I can hardly wait to get back to such normal behavior every day: Good old Uncle Joe and Auntie Kamala doing their jobs, competently and with compassion, making politics just part of one’s life, in the background, not this screaming alarm clock demanding attention 24-7.
Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown (But Secretly Delighted Is the Head of State Who Watches It)
Sometimes while watching The Crown, I slam my fist on the table and shout, “You tell ’em, Queenie!”
I know Elizabeth has let it be known she doesn’t like the liberties the show takes and, officially, dismisses it as fanciful, but I bet more than a few times, while watching, she smiles and says to herself, “Yep, you got that right.”
Republican Voters: The Trump Enablers
Republicans can pretend that Trump is somehow separate from them, that their support doesn’t enable him and his dangerous behavior, but that is a lie: Every Republican—including those two running for the Senate in Georgia—is responsible for Trump and his actions.
You are responsible for sowing doubt about our constitutional system for electing political representatives—when, in reality, November’s election was the best-run and most secure in modern times.
You are responsible for making us an international laughingstock.
You are responsible for our failed response to a pandemic that will kill 500,000 Americans before the vaccines have an effect—unless you change course on masks and social gatherings immediately.
You are responsible for slowing down the vaccination-rollout because Trump won’t let his administration coordinate with Biden’s public health team.
You are responsible for legitimizing wild, dangerous conspiracy theories that make it impossible to bring the country together, at least around some common understanding of reality.
You are responsible for all this chaos and confusion: the in-fighting within your party, the baseless doubts among your base about the validity of national elections, the unnecessary deaths from a preventable disease, and the increased national security risk we all face because the man in the White House doesn’t care about America, just himself.
You all are Trump. Every single one of you.
What, Exactly, Are You Screaming About?
Sure “Defund the Police” and the summer insanity on the streets didn’t help win Democratic seats in the suburbs, where a lot of moderate whites (and a growing number of people of color) hate progressives and their rhetoric of shame even more than they hate Trump and his rhetoric of grievance.
But, at the same time, there is no doubt that the left is correct: This country is teeming with white supremacists in the thrall of magical thinking—the identity politics of the right—and Trump energized those people like we haven’t seen since the original America First.
The irony of course is that most of the issues we fight over really don’t matter; they are religion, emotional beliefs and special words worshipped by different tribes.
Three-quarters of Americans know we have to spread the wealth more fairly, buckle down and learn new work skills, rationalize health care in the face of a pandemic and a health system that costs three times what it should, and save our planet from the ravages of the combustion engine and plastic waste. We even broadly agree on how to do it. But we can’t stop yelling at each other about God, sex, and skin color. How stupid.
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