September 28, 2022

Hualienrainbow

We Bring Good Things to Life

Wedge issues distract from political progress that is evident

If you watched the news early this year, you’d be forgiven for having a dim view of the future of democracy.

Long negotiations on the Build Back Better bill stalled. The Republican National Committee branded 2021’s violent insurrection “legitimate political discourse.” Freedom House recorded a 16th year of global decline in democracy.

The U.S. appeared unable to make any policy, while many states set about creating actively bad policy. Internationally, the U.S. and its democratic allies were failing to respond to the rise of China and other authoritarian states.

While this dark view of things is good for clicks and great for campaigning, it reflects a warped perspective of the reality of our democracy and of democracies generally. When the press focuses on conflict, bipartisan legislation rarely gets much billing, regardless of how good it is.