And the Election Winner Is…Enmity

And the Election Winner Is…Enmity

What is your view of how society works? It matters. You have to decide.

You might notice that your view on the question depends on the setting. If you go to the mall, the local bar, a bustling restaurant, a neighborhood cookout, a house of worship, a movie theater, a concert, or even a sports event, you will see signs of blessed harmony.

The larger the state grows, the more it invades the peaceful areas of our lives. Here, for the most part, people get along. No one is gouging each other’s eyes out or calling people enemies of the nation or race. Strangers find ways to cooperate. You are served in a friendly way by people you don’t know, even people from all over the world. The food you eat, the drinks you drink, the clothes you wear are all produced for you by people you have never met. They are strangers, yet they work for you and you work for them.

No one in riot gear is needed to prevent violence and chaos. Somehow everyone manages to find ways to value each other and respect each other’s rights. People are smiling. For the most part, people are polite to each other. There is rarely evidence of invidious discrimination or fundamental acrimony.

The Struggle Is Real

On the other hand, perhaps you attended a political event this year, where you see something very different. Or maybe you argued politics with a family member or a friend. Or maybe you read the papers or dig around social media. Here is where you see evidence of what David Brooks