I was astonished at the political analysis by John Sides, Chris Tausanovitch and Lynn Vavreck in their Sept. 18 Outlook essay, “A hard 2020 lesson for the midterms: Our politics are calcified.” Well, knock me over with a feather — who knew ? But beyond stating the obvious, remarkably, these political scientists claim that the calcified state of US politics is all about disagreement on issues.
Opinion | Differing opinions are not what’s wrong with today’s Republican Party
The authors apparently consider the election denial, white nationalism, authoritarianism, Trump cultism and conspiracies that have infected the Republican Party since 2015 as ordinary matters subject to political debate. (Apparently, the Jan. 6 insurrection was a nonevent not worth mention.) These are not issues; they are dangerous, foundational rot. Although the Democrats are certainly subject to justified criticism on many fronts, there is nothing comparable in their recent history. The authors’ bothsidesism does not match the civic crises we face.
As an independent, I have voted for and volunteered for Democrats and Republicans. But as with other members of the reality-based community, I am now — yes — calcified into no longer voting for any Republicans unless and until they cure themselves of the diseases afflicting their party and threatening our democracy. It has nothing to do with “issues.”
George Kaplan, Colora, Md.