Yascha Mounk and Ed Luce discuss the hopes for containing authoritarian populism and easing polarization at home and in the world.
"There's clearly demand there from what some people have labeled the “exhausted majority,” who tend to be moderate. There's clearly demand there for politics that better reflects their views than two parties that are going off on such different tangents."
As a former lefty liberal who now identifies as a member of the exhausted majority, I would love the Dems to better reflect where I am: left on economic issues and down the middle on cultural ones. Sadly, this conversation only reinforces my opinion that this won't happen as the parties are moving further away from each other. I used to get mad at people who didn't vote but I understand why now.
Yascha and Luce appear to occupy the same bubble when it comes to defining extremism as mainly a problem of the “other side”. Authoritarianism from the administrative state is as frustrating and frightening as authoritarian populism.
Like it or not (not), America is dominated by an extreme political party and it’s not the Republicans. Do the Republicans think that cheating at sports is a fundamental human right and men ‘belong’ in women’s swimming? No. That would be the Democrats. Do the Republicans think that mutilating children is a ‘good thing’ and should be celebrated? No. That would be the Democrats. Do the Republicans embrace racial quotas as opposed to merit? No. that would be the Democrats. Are the Republicans the pro-crime party? No. That would be the Democrats.
This question can actually be quantified. Since the 1990s, Republicans have moved right somewhat . However, the shift among Democrats (to the left) has been considerably greater. See "Pew Research Center: Political Polarization from 1994-2017" (https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/interactives/political-polarization-1994-2017/). A quote here should help.
"The Pew Research Center does a poll asking Americans about their beliefs on a variety of issues. When plotted on a graph and then animated to show how ideologies have shifted over time, an eye-opening picture emerges. Since 1994, Republicans are only about 8% more conservative in their beliefs. Democrats, meanwhile, are fully 60% more liberal, with the median Democrat now closer to the far left than the center."
A measure of how extreme the dominant left has become is that J. K. Rowling was not invited to the 20 year Harry Potter reunion.
A more significant example, is that hysteria over ‘systemic racism’ is discussed far more now, than when it was actually real.
Before we in the US pine too loudly for a parliamentary system is which a president/prime minister can be "ejected" from office, we should recognize that there are drawbacks to such a system. Among those drawbacks are an executive branch subservient to the legislative branch and a much weakened judicial branch.
The assumption that we seem to be building into a PRC blockade of Taiwan is an outcome similar to Chamberlain and Czechoslovakia. Blockading Taiwan is not without its risks for China, which hadn't had a blue-water navy for almost 600 years. Taiwan undoubtedly has the capability to send a good portion of a blockading navy, especially an inexperienced navy, to the bottom.
As the Republicans have understood and the Democrats have only learned recently, the battle for the heart and soul of the US is being played out at the local and state levels. The campaigns for the nomination and election of our President are all very interesting, but the outcomes are decided at lower levels.
American leadership is not mutually exclusive with America decoupling from China. The US could, for example, make exceptions to the IRA's domestic content rules for its treaty allies, and liberalize its trade with developing countries, while putting very high tariffs on all Chinese goods and services. The sooner the US kicks its addiction to the drug of trade with China (a drug that has led to, among other things, massive use of literal drugs in towns devastated by job losses), the better. It can kick that addiction while leading the free world.