If there is one thing most people can agree on, it’s that our political process has seized up. This year, the Boston Globe’s Washington reporters have chronicled the many dysfunctions that besets our democracy in a compelling and important series entitled “Broken City: Politics in an Age of Paralysis.”
It’s easy to come to see the sorry state of affairs they’ve documented as the new and irremediable normal. But we shouldn’t. American politics has always been a contact sport, yet during the era when the Soviet Union loomed as serious threat to the West, our political system performed well enough to lead the free world in meeting the challenges of that era. Now, with that threat removed and nothing nearly as dire replacing it, governance has deteriorated into a period of regular brinkmanship, showdown, cliffs, and crises.