Morning Jolt: How Our Political Parties Stopped Accepting Each Other’s Victories

On the menu today: A long, deep look at why so many Americans no longer believe that those who politically disagree have any "legitimacy."

The Collapse of the Consensus Understanding of Legitimacy

At the root of a lot of our most intense political divisions is an irrational and stubborn refusal to recognize that the opposition ever legitimately wins a dispute.

Before we go any further, let's make sure we're all clear on the definition of "legitimate." In this circumstance, we mean, "accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements" or "conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards" — not necessarily "good" or "popular." Lots of actions can be legitimate and also a bad idea. Prohibition was legitimate, in the sense that it was enacted within the existing rules under the U.S. Constitution. As you may have heard, it did not turn out well.

Far too many people cannot distinguish between "this is legitimate" and "I like this." The words "illegal" and "bad" are also frequently ...

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WITH JIM GERAGHTY June 09 2021
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WITH JIM GERAGHTY June 09 2021
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How Our Political Parties Stopped Accepting Each Other's Victories

On the menu today: A long, deep look at why so many Americans no longer believe that those who politically disagree have any "legitimacy."

The Collapse of the Consensus Understanding of Legitimacy

At the root of a lot of our most intense political divisions is an irrational and stubborn refusal to recognize that the opposition ever legitimately wins a dispute.

Before we go any further, let's make sure we're all clear on the definition of "legitimate." In this circumstance, we mean, "accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements" or "conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards" — not necessarily "good" or "popular." Lots of actions can be legitimate and also a bad idea. Prohibition was legitimate, in the sense that it was enacted within the existing rules under the U.S. Constitution. As you may have heard, it did not turn out well.

Far too many people cannot distinguish between "this is legitimate" and "I like this." The words "illegal" and "bad" are also frequently ...   READ MORE

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