Guest writer Thomas Simpson offers a review of journalist Ezra Klein’s new book, Why We’re Polarized. Thomas holds a master's degree in History from Georgetown University and is a core member of Facing History's Marketing and Communications team.
The 2020 election has been conspicuously different from past presidential campaigns. Digital party conventions, canceled swing state rallies, and the ongoing fight over mail-in ballots are just some of the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the usual quadrennial rituals of American politicking. Yet, Biden voters and Trump voters alike would agree with the sentiment that one trend in American politics has only grown stronger this year: the polarization of the two parties. More to the point, there’s an assumption that such polarization is unambiguously bad - something that poses a grave threat to the fabric of American society. Admittedly, as an avid consumer of political news myself, these are things that I’ve also thought about increasingly over the past decade.