Confessions of an unreliable columnist

My favorite political metaphor in recent years has been “centrifugal forces” — an image meant to capture the dynamic of negative partisanship and reactive polarization that often pulls highly engaged commentators no less than many ordinary citizens away from a collapsing centrist consensus and toward ideological extremes.

You know what it’s like when those forces take hold. Donald Trump spews racism, or displays flagrant cruelty and corruption, or attempts a hapless coup — and it instantly feels like empowering any Democrat would be preferable, even absolutely essential to preserving democracy in America. Or a progressive politician, journalist, or bestselling activist proposes a blend of socialism, radical institutional reform, and post-Protestant



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