Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The 4 fantasies dominating American politics

There are probably more than four. And all four of these pretty much suck.

By Damon Linker, The Link

The two parties are as ideologically polarized as they’ve been within living memory — and they’re also very evenly matched. Yes, Democrats win somewhat more votes on a national basis, but thanks to the distinctive character of the country’s state-based electoral system, Republicans remain competititive, if not advantaged, in many races. Then there are divisions inside each party, with progressives and centrists battling each other within the Democratic Party and the GOP divided between Trumpist insurgents and deposed members of the party’s old center-right establishment.

Add it all up, and we’re left with a demoralizing political reality in which neither side can prevail decisively enough or stick together long enough to enact real change. Instead of confronting that fact, many have retreated into political fan fiction, in which each major faction indulges in daydreams about victories that are impossible in the world as it actually exists.

That is often bad — a flight from the rigors of reality. But in rare cases, it can also point the way to way toward a better, more hopeful future.

The progressive fantasy has been rising in volume and influence in the Democratic Party since Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) first advanced it in his potent primary challenge to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries. Today it is embraced by leading members of the party, from grassroots activists and left-wing pundits to prominent members of Congress and even sometimes the lifelong moderate in the White House.


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