Rather than having political leaders who summon us to our better angels, our political leaders stoke division for personal gain. Donald Trump has decided that this is the smart strategy, and, rather than attempting to be the opposite of Trump, Democrats seeking buzz and attention and cash and fame have learned that the best way to get it is to ape Trump’s worst behavior.
Technology—from air conditioning to TV to Twitter—has conspired to alienate us from our neighbors. The advent of cable news, talk radio, and the Internet have allowed us to filter out opposing viewpoints, and cluster closer to our own tribes.
Two evenly divided political parties—each of which believes simultaneously it is winning and is about to be destroyed. Republicans believe cultural elites and demographic math are about to overtake them, even as they control all the levers of governmental power. Meanwhile, Democrats share this belief—which means they won’t adopt a subservient role, even as they control few levers of governmental power.