Reflections on July 4th, 5781
It seems to me that the most dangerous conflict we're facing now is not between Democrats and Republicans. It's between, on the one hand, Democrats along with Republicans like Mitt Romney or Liz Cheney, who have very divergent interpretations of the text but still want to maintain the fundamental character of the nation; and then, on the other hand, a radical sect of Republicans who have gained dominance in their party over the past twenty years, who want to _abandon_ arguments over text, and define the country purely in terms of blood-and-soil, and are willing to use any means at hand to bar their opponents from power.
Of course, the fact that the modern GOP is to our country what Fidesz is to Hungary, what Prawo i Sprawiedliwość is to Poland, and what Adalet ve Kalkınma is to Turkey, _ought_ to make Democrats more intent on maintaining unity. As Matt Yglesias has been saying for years, if you believe what young activist Democrats say they believe, that _ought_ to make you more intent on doing whatever it takes to protect the nation. Instead we have a _second_ fanatical sect, who are _probably_ marginally less dangerous, but are still nuts. Some people would rather sacrifice democracy on the altar of linguistic purity, than allow rank-and-file Republicans who are perfectly decent people and good neighbors to be left un-"called-out". As somebody who's volunteered with a dozen or so campaigns, ranging from city councils, to a recent CA Senate campaign, up to spend a week in Nevada knocking doors for Obama in '08, it's absolutely maddening. You don't get to make policy if you don't win, so no matter what your ideals are, you'd better be clear-eyed about what it takes to win.
"Only a country whose amnesiac memory is unsullied by existential ethnic violence thinks it wise to solve issues of racism by feverishly heightening feelings of either unforgivable blame or angry victimhood."
This is very insightful. Similarly, for the last 20 years I have been telling anyone who would listen that America's constant bipartisan enthusiasm for making war in foreign countries is down to our nation never having been bombed from the skies.
On an unrelated topic, I'm willing to support Juneteenth as long as Blacks eat matzah for a week, thoughts?
Thank you for this. I’ve been telling myself for a while that this game is over, America has died and the only question is what comes next. But I don’t want to give up on these ideals, dammit.
Do you have anything you can say about what a new vision looks like? Is it a new tribe that is neither red nor blue, and rejects the worst parts of both? How does that even work with the two party system?