After the deadly shooting in Tucson that wounded Rep.
In the wake of that tragedy,
Those seem like happier, saner times now. When a man opened fire on a congressional baseball practice a year ago, House Majority
One reason for the disparity was obvious. In 2011, the victim was a Democrat. In 2017, the victim was a Republican. The outcry was fainter even though the baseball shooter was clearly motivated by murderous partisan rage, whereas the Tucson shooter was motivated by voices in his head.
Four days before the baseball shooting, Sen.
Such double standards take up an enormous amount of headspace on the right. "Obama put kids in cages, too!" was the go-to defense of Trump's family separation policy for many right-wingers, which ironically made Obama's policy the new rationalization for Obama haters.
These days the right has its own double standards, which haunt the minds of many on the left. The list is too long to dwell on, but nearly all stem from the perceived need to defend presidential rhetoric and behavior that violate the standards of the pre-
Such double standards are toxic, because they lead people to conclude that norms of decency and decorum are just tools of a rigged system. But all the banshee shrieks of whataboutism are downstream of a larger problem: the loss of collective identity.
Humans crave what philosopher-anthropologist
Partisan politics has become a kind of re-enchantment creed. A majority of Americans say that belief in God isn't necessary to be a good person, which is fine by itself. But in 2016, nearly half of
Partisan identity is now stronger and more meaningful for many Americans than race, ethnicity or religious denomination -- and is viewed as a more legitimate justification for discrimination.
When liberals cheer the mob to harass government officials and are encouraged by hacks such as Rep.
It is the return of "No Irish Need Apply," but with
It's not merely that lifestyles are being politicized, but that politics is becoming a lifestyle.
Partisans are convinced that the answer to our woes lies in total victory over the other. This is disastrous, because the embrace of partisan identity exacerbates the problem, and because our government was never designed to fill the holes in our souls.