Today’s Must Read

October 18, 2011 6:23 a.m.

I wanted to flag to your attention this notably thoughtful essay from Peter Frase on the difference between partisanship and ideology, and on what the obsession of political elites in this country with post-partisan centrism really represents:

To summarize the thesis: ordinary people hate partisanship, and elites hate ideology. Hence the elite is constantly attempting to misrepresent the latter as the former. And the masses sometimes respond by repudiating ideology when they mean to reject partisanship. …

It’s in that light that we should consider the continual elite longing for a “centrist” or “post-partisan” leader to deliver us from the evil of political polarization. What this yearning represents is not so much a desire to escape from narrow partisan cynicism as it is an attempt to prevent the drawing of clear distinctions of political principle.

The specific examples he cites to illustrate the point are piercing. Worth your time.

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