More and more in our politics, the loudest, angriest, most divisive voices get the most attention (and money). Real solutions, and the politicians who put their heads down to do hard work, get short shrift. Collectively, we have to lower the temperature. People keep getting hurt. We’re very lucky no one has been killed — and I worry I need to emphasize “yet.”
Just as warming waters create the conditions for more frequent and destructive hurricanes, toxic rhetoric can manifest into actions. Our political emotions are running hotter than ever. We’ve been relatively lucky so far. Consider the attacks on Giffords and Scalise, the threats against Kavanaugh, the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), and the Jan. 6 chants of “Hang Mike Pence” and threats against Nancy Pelosi — had any of them gone further, our country would be even closer to unraveling.