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US politics

A plague on both your houses

America: now a country of extremes. Linnea Rheborg/Getty; Andrew Cabellero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty

I have never felt so “alienated” by American politics in my life, says Matt Bai in The Washington Post. The Democrats and Republicans now represent “extreme interpretations” of what it means to be American – “and I emphatically reject them both”. The Republicans want to reclaim a “mythical white heritage” that never existed. They champion the toxic notion that being American isn’t simply about having citizenship – it depends on your race, your identity, and the language you speak. Left to its own devices, the party would destroy the liberal foundations of the republic.

The Democrats are also obsessed with identity. Rather than promoting traditional American ideals of equal opportunity and freedom of expression, the party is “in thrall to its own misguided cultural revolution”. They want to divide America into victims and oppressors and take “vengeance” on the latter. Woke guru Ibram X Kendi even declares in his book, How to Be an Antiracist, that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination”. This is not what America is about. I was taught that in the United States we are bound not by our place of origin, culture or language but by our commitment to freedom and equality. Our two major parties seem to have forgotten this. So it’s no wonder that a large chunk of the American electorate “no longer has a political home”.