Thursday, November 26, 2020

Symmetric Negative Partisanship

We begin to get analyses of the recent election which strike a chord, to contain some measure of the truth of it. Two Senior Fellows at the Hoover Institution write the following for Project Syndicate:

Voters turned out in record numbers on both sides because they emphatically did not want the opposing party to win. Moreover, this “negative partisanship” is symmetric. Democrats and a few moderate Republicans and independents did not want another four years of Trump, and most Republican voters appear not to have wanted to pass the baton back to the mistrusted “coastal” elites, globalists, “biased” liberal media, and Washington insiders.

Much of the time, knowing what one opposes is a stronger motivation than knowing what one favors. For sure there won’t be a lot of “kumbaya coming together” when “hating on them” is the zeitgeist. It would take something of the magnitude of Pearl Harbor or 9-11 to unite us, and then only briefly as 9-11 showed.