Ezra Klein wrote a thoughtful piece on American polarization, based on his forthcoming book. I commented on it. Yesterday, Francis Fukuyama thoughtfully responded to Klein. I particularly liked his concluding thoughts:
Democrats will not win back swing voters by writing off their opponents as simple racists and xenophobes; they need to show empathy for the legitimate concerns of a working class that is in serious trouble. Identity is an inherently flexible concept that can be deliberately shaped in broader or narrower ways. Liberals around the world have lost ground to populists by ignoring the broad moral appeal of national identity, which in a diverse contemporary society needs to be built around liberal and democratic values. Klein dismisses complaints about political correctness and identity politics on the left, but a politics built on the grievances of ever narrower identity groups breeds similar thinking on the right, and it cannot be the basis for a broader democratic, civic identity that is the ultimate answer to polarization.
You may think this connection is a bit of a stretch, but I do not.
I think the reason why Adam Schiff has so infuriated the wingnuts is that the whole unspoken premise of his presentation—and, BTW, the premise may be wrong, but it’s still Adam’s premise—is that people on the other side of the aisle must be spoken to as if we respect their intelligence and as if we respect their inherent worth and dignity.
Wingnuts are to reasoned, respectful discourse as vampires are to garlic.