Friday, September 25, 2020
In certain ways, yes, American politics needs stabilization, reason, calm. It certainly needs a president who actually tries to preside over the nation, instead of flouting every norm of decency, treating half the country as his enemy, and delegitimizing an American election because he fears he might not win.
In other ways, though, it is precisely our stalemates and our stasis, a “stability” created by gridlock and dysfunction, that has maddened our debates, made Trumpism possible and hysteria the norm.
In the rhetorical arena, the world of cable news and social media, there’s gasoline enough for every fire. But in the arena of policy, where judges and legislators and presidents and voters interact, we may need to experience a little more shock therapy, the curative fever that comes when frozen conflicts finally heat up.
Or we might melt down into a great, steaming puddle that hardens and finally gets blown away in the wind.