Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Manichaeism in America

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What Carville’s confused, contradictory screed highlights is the difficulty of trying to understand American political conflicts through an exclusively partisan prism of Democrats v. Republicans.  Some issues are properly assessed via that dichotomy, but many — a growing number — are not.  Nonetheless, confining oneself to Democrat v. Republican bickering is the admission price to establishment media access — that is the only prism they understand or permit — and most pundits thus happily cling to it; indeed, partisan pundits take the lead role in enforcing this orthodoxy and trying to marginalize anyone who deviates from it or resides outside of it.  Political issues insusceptible to this two-team mindset are deemed fringe and rendered invisible.  The result (by design) of this narrow, stultifying framework is that many — perhaps most — of the most consequential political developments are ignored.

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