Quillette has published my essay about polarization in Western democracies and what we can do about it.
I blame populists like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen for tapping into a toxic combination of discontent and resentment, but I argue liberals may have unwittingly contributed to the radicalization of fearful conservatives.
You don’t convince people to be more relaxed about female power or gay rights by ridiculing old-fashioned gender norms. You don’t defeat jingoists by mocking patriotism or open up people’s eyes to racial injustice by shaming their whiteness.
We need to find a way back to the center. I see two main challenges:
- Updating our social norms in such a way that everybody (or at least the vast majority of people) can accept change.
- Finding a way to give workers without a university education the chance to make a valuable contribution to society.
I don’t have all the answers, but I have a few suggestions. Click here to read more.