Daily Bread for 11.20.21: ‘Polarization’ Is Evasion | FREE WHITEWATER
FREE WHITEWATER

Daily Bread for 11.20.21: ‘Polarization’ Is Evasion

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 47.  Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 4:27 PM for 9h 32m 42s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1859, Milwaukee sees its first baseball game:

An impromptu game of base ball , as it was spelled in the early years, was played by two teams of seven at the Milwaukee Fair Ground. The game was organized by Rufus King, publisher of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and is believed to have been the first baseball game played in Milwaukee. In spite of cold weather, two more games were played in December, and by April 1860 the Milwaukee Base Ball Club was organized. View early baseball photographs at Wisconsin Historical Images, and read about baseball’s first decades in Wisconsin at Turning Points in Wisconsin.


 Jennifer Rubin writes It’s not ‘polarization.’ We suffer from Republican radicalization:

You know the argument: America is divided into warring camps. The center has collapsed. Compromise is impossible. We have become uncivil and angry.

While it’s true that the country is more deeply divided along partisan lines than it has been in the past, it is wrong to suggest a symmetrical devolution into irrational hatred. The polarization argument too often treats both sides as equally worthy of blame, characterizing the problem as a sort of free-floating affliction (e.g., “lack of trust”). This blurs the distinction between a Democratic Party that is marginally more progressive in policy positions than it was a decade ago, and a Republican Party that routinely lies, courts violence and seeks to define America as a White Christian nation.

The Republican Party’s tolerance of violence is not matched by Democrats. Nor is the Republican Party’s refusal to recognize the sanctity of elections. Democrats did not call the elections they lost in 2020 and 2021 “rigged,” nor are they seeking to replace nonpartisan election officials with partisan lawmakers. Republicans’ determination to change voting laws based on their insistence that Donald Trump won the 2020 election is without historical precedent.

….

Only one party conducts fake election audits, habitually relies on conspiracy theories and wants to limit access to the ballot. A recent study from the libertarian think tank R Street found: “In Republican states, legislation tended to scale back the availability of mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes and to provide more uniform, if not shorter, early voting windows. Meanwhile, in Democratic states, legislators sought to increase the availability of early voting not only by expanded voting windows but also by instating universal vote-by-mail.”

Only one party overwhelmingly refused to participate in a bipartisan investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Only one party tolerates and defends House members who resort to violent imagery and harass fellow lawmakers. Talk of “secession” comes from only one party. Only one party is turning a vigilante who killed two people and seriously injured another into a folk hero. Only one party rises in defense of parents publicly threatening school boards. Only one party has taken to defending book-banning and book-burning. Governors of only one party are suing private companies and localities that follow coronavirus guidelines.

Yes.

It’s sometimes journalists, but not merely journalists, who advance these sanitizing claims of polarization. At the local level, officials either launder away populists’ false claims and malevolent ambitions as mere ‘differences of opinion’ or pretend there’s ‘nothing to see here.’

Our forefathers (among those of us whose families were on the right side of these issues) did not think that the British, Know Nothings, Confederates, Klan, and Bund were merely polarizing.  They rightly saw that those movements were blameworthy.

See Not Only in Washington, and Not Only Journalists (‘on local boards, councils, and commissions, how many elected and appointed officials speak confidently in defense of liberal democracy? In Whitewater, Wisconsin and so many nearby towns, too many of those who took office democratically, and too many of those who were appointed to prominent positions under the law, are silent in the face of challenges to democracy and the rule of law’).

Here in Whitewater, council members who take an oath to uphold the constitutional order find it easier to pass an ordinance banning residents from feeding, in their own yards, even a single peanut to a single squirrel than to consider a confident resolution in defense of our liberal democratic tradition.

Local such as this is merely vacuous.


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