San Diego, CALIF.- Why are voters leaving political parties and becoming independents? A major concern has been the political, and now very personal rancor elevated from both the right and left, fueled and at times encouraged by the two major political parties.
Using the recent confirmation hearings of now Justice Brett Kavanaugh as the backdrop, the following op-ed by Chris Reed, deputy editor of the editorial and opinion section of the San Diego Union-Tribune, provides a bit of insight and analysis about why it's happening.
Kavanaugh Fight Shows We're Divided By Mutual Loathing. But It's Not That Simple
The view that the Republican Party has gone nuts is common, at least outside the party. At first, the victories Donald Trump amassed in early 2016 GOP presidential primaries were seen as baffling and inexplicable. Before too long, however, they were portrayed as a sign of Republican insanity. How could a crude bully, an admitted groper and a racial demagogue (at best) be supported by millions of voters? They must be bad people — or crazy.
But as a libertarian who loathes both parties, I see Trump’s rise as the social-cultural version of Isaac Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Both liberal and conservative true believers have grown steadily more deranged in recent years, egging each other to new lows. Trumpism is awful — but so is the emergence of universities and swaths of the media as eager enforcers of ideological dogma and conformity. True believers on both sides have zero empathy for people with different political views. The New York Times published an analysis in August that had an anecdotal lead paragraph giving an example of a ...
... zero-sum political confrontation that breaks out every day all across the country as politics seeps into and disrupts everyday life. To a degree that is unique to this period and this president, disputes over politics have divided Americans’ homes, strained marriages, ruined friendships and invaded the workplace.
Which brings us to newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats’ fury over Senate Republicans’ refusal to even consider President Barack Obama’s final-year nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the high court is completely understandable. The mania this rage has yielded in recent weeks is less so.
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Chris Reed is the deputy editorial and opinion editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register.