As Jesse Walker noted earlier today, it's been a bad week for America, and "a lot of things really do look pretty bleak at the moment." In tomorrow's L.A. Times, I make the "Sympathy for the Devil" argument that after all, a lot of our dumb politics—particularly around police abuse and criminal-justice reform—is about the proverbial you and me. Excerpt:
Our dominant political culture in this country is sick, and we have ourselves largely to blame. From Ferguson, Mo., to Dallas, too many of us organize our reactions to news events not by fact or principle, but by antipathy to hated political tribes.
"#DallasPoliceShooting has roots in first of anti-white/cop events illuminated by Obama," tweeted the reliably inane Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) yesterday. "Black Lives Matter," Rush Limbaugh informed his listeners, is "a terrorist group." At press time there was no evidence linking killer Micah Xavier Johnson to BLM.
Democrats did not fail to sink to the occasion, either. "If this Congress does not have the guts to lead, then we are responsible for all of the bloodshed on the streets of America, whether it be at the hands of people wearing a uniform or whether it's at the hands of criminals," Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) told reporters Friday morning, using the opportunity to advance his party's gun-control agenda.
The New York Post, like all great tabloids, knows that conflict sells, headlining its morning-after coverage "CIVIL WAR." But ever since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the rest of us have been far too willing to play into the hands of the country's professional polarizers[.]