I have been a cultural and social historian in relation to the ‘American challenges’ for many years. While I appreciate your moderating commentary, I felt that you keep missing the bigger picture for the capacity to educate people on their own belief systems, and why they become so wrong in their judgements on the political environment without that capacity. Here is my argument about your recent piece entitled, “The sick politics at the heart of this week’s US crisis go deeper than Donald Trump”.
“America has always teetered on the edge of collapse” — journalistic phrasing which does not make sense when you think about it, somewhat deeper. The historiography is true as only as the narrative of “maelstrom”, a violent whirlpool of disorder, is true; but being overplayed, with good or bad intent (either way), it is false. Does anyone pause to consider that it is the naïve shock which feeds this exaggerated alarm. Shock at a half-hearted insurrection, where the politically astute — those who were not shocked — could see it coming. If I am shocked at anything, it is the lack of bloodshed, and I am glad for the lack of determination within the madness.
I have noticed a certain ideological conservatism in recent journalistic reactions to the mayhem. It is a tendency to blame uncomfortable agendas from the Left, back to “1968” (but agendas also had certain conservative roots). Of course, “radical” violence on both sides should be condemned, but why refer to “black civil rights, gay equality, family values, gun laws, abortion or feminism” and conclude that there is a perpetual culture war. That there is a culture war, yes, that is true, but who is perpetuating the alarm?
If you want to get out of the war, then it is important to understand one’s own self-hidden ideology and stop using the term as the problem for ‘the other’. The problem is that so-called conservatives do not understand conservatism, in the same way that progressivists do not understand progressivism. The capacity to truly understand one’s own big beliefs is the very reason why you had dissenters like Mitt Romney who were able to stand against the stupidity of his own party in a timely manner.