Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Mitch McConnell’s use of the debt ceiling, and two Democratic senators taking big bucks from billionaires and the fossil fuel industry to sabotage Democratic efforts, illustrate a major — and largely unacknowledged — crisis point in American politics.

Since the end of the 1800s, America has flipped back and forth between two poles that have typically been called “conservative” and “progressive.” The election of 2020 and President Biden’s efforts now with his Build Back Better bills, for example, signal a turn from the 1980 flip to “conservative” back toward today’s “progressive” politics dominating American discourse.

This swing from one pole to the other is generally driven by, literally, “swing voters”: people with weak party affiliations who, when fed up with one pole or the other, drive the change, reflecting a larger shift in society.

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