David French on the Polarization in America

Monday, August 24, 2020 - David French discusses the polarization he sees in America and studies in his book and why short-term solutions seem improbable.

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David French attorney, political commentator, and author. A fellow at the National Review Institute and a staff writer for National Review from 2015 to 2019, French currently serves as senior editor of The Dispatch.
David French attorney, political commentator, and author. A fellow at the National Review Institute and a staff writer for National Review from 2015 to 2019, French currently serves as senior editor of The Dispatch.

David French attorney, political commentator, and author. A fellow at the National Review Institute and a staff writer for National Review from 2015 to 2019, French currently serves as senior editor of The Dispatch, a fact-based digital media company, that endeavors to provide both sides of any given position. In 2020, he published Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. Today, he will discuss the polarization he studies in his book and why short-term solutions seem improbable.

In a recent article, David French called the political climate a “new fundamentalism.” A fundamentalist, he explains, often has no existential humility or uncertainty, and that’s what we now see in politics. He similarly highlights three recent political trends: The Big Sword - Americans have begun in the last few decades to intentionally live around like-minded neighbors; The Law of Group Polarization - when like-minded people gather, they reinforce those shared opinions to an extreme; Overton Windows - while the Overton Window concept is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time, there are now two separate windows for either party in the case of many issues. 

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