Partisanship is normal

Politics in a democracy is about disagreement.  It’s been so for 2500 years.  A cursory look at our own nation’s history tells the same tale.  People of good will simply disagree.  It’s the nature of things.

Michael Barone in Washington is partisan – get used to it.

America’s Midcentury Moment was just that—and American politics has returned to its combative, partisan, divisive default mode. In the 1790s, Americans were divided over a world-wide war between commercial Britain and revolutionary France. Political strife was bitter. In the antebellum years, Americans were deeply split over issues from the Bank of the United States to slavery in the territories. For three generations after the Civil War, Americans North and South lived almost entirely apart from each other.

The Midcentury Moment emerged as the result of three unexpected developments, two of them unwelcome—depression, war, postwar prosperity—and was communicated through the language of an unusually vivid and unusually universal popular culture. Absent these things—and it’s hard to see how they could return—our politicians aren’t likely to all get along.

UPDATE (10.19.13):  from Derb Radio (John Derbyshire):

You often hear citizens say, “I wish they’d cut out all the bickering and rancor and just get on with running the country.”  Well – I don’t actually agree with that.  There are honest differences of opinion about national affairs.  And bickering and rancor are how those differences get aired and discussed.

You want a system of government with no bickering or rancor?  Move to North Korea.

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