In my opinion Jonathan Chait’s New Yorker column in which he plants his flag on “the only problem in American politics is Republicans” demonstrates one thing positively:
Political scientist Lee Drutman argues in a Vox essay that American politics is descending into what he calls “doom-loop partisanship.” Drutman notes that Americans have been “retreating into our separate tribal epistemologies, each with their own increasingly incompatible set of facts and first premises,” each heavily racialized, in which “[t]here’s no possibility for rational debate or middle-ground compromise. Just two sorted teams, with no overlap, no cross-cutting identities, and with everyone’s personal sense of status constantly on the line.”
Drutman attributes this to winner-take-all elections, the expanding power of the presidency, and the growing influence of money in politics. I think, despite all the very real design flaws in American politics, the problems he describe stem mainly from the pathologies of the Republican Party.
It is that he doesn’t live in Chicago. As an exercise I would recommend that he take he take a cold, hard, green eyeshades look at Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois, and explain how their problems were created by Republicans.
I have a different viewpoint. I think that one of our major political parties, largely run by whites, is determined to keep blacks in a permanent state of poverty and subordination. That party is the Democratic Party. And yes, the Republican Party has made common cause with racists and white supremacists to its lasting shame. That does not exonerate the Democrats.
I’m a Democrat. Here in Chicago, County County, Illinois Republicans have no bearing on daily life and that has been the case for generations. My interest is in healing the Democratic Party which is in dire need of it. I don’t want it just to be the party of Big Government. I want it to be the party of Good Government. We have a long way to go. The first step is being honest. The second is being frank.