The politics of grievance

This is the editor’s letter in the current issue of The Week magazine.

“What goes around, comes around.” Brett Kavanaugh’s indignant warning to Democrats last week may be the defining ethos of this political era. As I write this, the fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination remains undecided, but there is no doubt that the outcome will trigger howls of outrage among tens of millions of people — and vows of vengeance. This is our politics now: No uplifting rhetoric about “hope” or “a shining city on the hill.” No poetry. No norms. No decency. It is grievance, revenge, and identity, all the way down. In arguing that they are the wronged party, irate Republicans point to the “borking” of 1987 Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, to sexual…

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