Quote of Note #63 — Political Tribalism and National Suicide

Statue of George Washington on the top of the dome of the Washington County (Pennsylvania) Courthouse; photo by GAC

“What is needed is for people from both sides to agree that the political and policy divides are not our primary identities or our primary divides.  As Americans, we need to agree first on the universal dignity of all people, before we descend to the more divisive but less important debates about the prudential use of the levers of government power.  If we fail to do that — that is, if we begin by regarding policy divides as ultimate — then we’ll inevitably all become the shrieking types.  We’ll ultimately reduce all community events to platforms for hysterical politics.  This is the recipe for national suicide about which Washington and Lincoln warned us.” (emphasis in original)

Ben Sasse, Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018, page 252-253.


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