How to Get Normal Politics Back
How to Get Normal Politics Back
Damon Linker argues that our democracy is in worse shape than Shadi thinks.
Published on: Jan 14, 2023  

In recent months, Shadi has drawn a lot of online ire for saying that liberals were needlessly (and harmfully) catastrophizing ahead of the November midterms. We decided to talk to one of Shadi's smartest and most eloquent critics on this count—our friend Damon Linker, a former columnist at The Week and current author of the excellent Substack, Eyes on the Right.

We argue about what's "normal" polarization, and what arguments end up making democracy less workable. Is Shadi really too complacent, or is he just being prudent? Is the Muslim Brotherhood "better" on democracy than the GOP? And why does the center-left have a newfound respect for military and intelligence agencies?

In Part 2 (available here for subscribers) Shadi shares some insights gleaned while attending a far-right birthday party (don't ask). Why does the new generation of young conservatives feel so alienated from American politics, and can their grievances ever be accommodated? What can we learn from populist victories in Israel and Hungary? And can a convincing Ron DeSantis victory be the best thing that could happen to us in 2024?

The crowd debates whether anti-democratic behavior in the name of protecting American democracy from Trump's craziness was ever justifiable. For instance, in an incredible event that's largely been memory-holed, America's top military official, Gen. Mark Milley, told his Chinese counterpart that he would give him advance notice if Trump had any plans to attack.

Damon argues that if the Right wants to change the system, they must first show that they can win convincing electoral victories. With this in mind, might an unequivocal Ron DeSantis win in 2024—with 52 or 53% of the popular vote—actually have a stabilizing effect on American democracy?

Required Reading: