American Crackup: Why Our Politics Are Broken

Harvey Silverglate at the website of WGBH:

The_age_of_trump_article2Are you as confused as I am by what passes for political commentary and analysis? Is there anybody who understands the current political mood of the nation, much less is able to figure out who is on what side? Why is the tension between left and right so vicious, so disorienting and disabling? Why do members of Congress have such difficulty “crossing over the aisle,” something that was so common as recently as the 1980s when Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill, Jr., famously dined and joked together regularly? Does it all make any sense?

It makes perfect sense if one abandons the long-outmoded notion that the nation is divided into Democrats and Republicans or into liberals and conservatives. In fact, the body politic these days is divided into no fewer than four general sectors – five, if one deems the libertarians to be a discrete category.

The impact of this division is best understood by examining the warring camps in an actual case that has set left against right – the struggle over whether transgender students should be allowed to use the school restrooms of their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex as recorded on their birth certificates.

More here.