The fever pitch partisanship and political fisticuffs aren’t going to die off the day President Donald Trump leaves the White House, Bobby Jindal wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.
Trump didn’t create the polarization that grips the country, Jindal writes. The machinations of a frayed political establishment were already well in the works, thanks to the rise of super PACs, gerrymandering, and news that comes in real time, 24/7.
“Democracy tends to give us the government we deserve,” Jindal writes.
“Bill Clinton wasn’t responsible for the rotting of personal morality; he reflected what was already there. Similarly, Mr. Trump did not create the polarization and politicization of everyday life; he’s simply great at riding a wave that was already coming ashore,” Jindal wrote.
“Mr. Trump’s passing from the national scene will not automatically usher in a new era of comity and harmony.”
In the same way Trump didn’t start it, it’s going to take a new kind of politician to break the cycle.
“Although it is tempting to credit Mr. Trump with a unique ability to drive the other side crazy, this is not a new development,” Jindal writes.
“Even if Mr. Trump retired quietly to Mar-a-Lago, a return to civility would be unlikely,” Jindal writes.
“That would require both parties to stop governing as if they represent a permanent majority, and instead to limit the power of their offices to what they would be comfortable with their opponents possessing.
“Lowering the stakes may be the only way to turn down the heat. Is that what the presidential aspirants of 2020 or 2024 — from either party — seem to be doing?” Jindal concludes.
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