Jan Zilinsky Profile picture
Jun 28, 2018 13 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I tried to make a case that a civil war is not coming. With @DaliborRohac: the-american-interest.com/2018/06/25/sav… Before saying "you're complacent!", please hear us out. Read a few a paragraphs from the piece. 1/n
It actually looks like the left and the right are on the same page.

@TuckerCarlson says his opponents are "terrifying", and folks on the left have insisted for some time that democracy is "in danger", we are at "turning point", "breaking point" etc. 2/n
So here is a question. Do people remember reading about this @leedrutman @LarryDiamond @joegoldman report in March? I don’t blame you if not.

What they found: “the overwhelming majority of Americans support democracy” 3/n voterstudygroup.org/publications/2…
The @DemocracyFund #VSG survey is high quality, has large sample size, it's really well-executed.

Doesn't matter. Your obligation is to be outraged.

As with other evidence that maybe the country is not divided beyond repair, I haven't seen viral tweets about that study. 4/n
Do we really live in Trump’s Kingdom now?

Much of my timeline talks about the country as if government somehow stopped functioning last year when DJT took office. But it seems to me that public employees do a lot more than “keep the ship afloat”
Frankly, I am not convinced that the median citizen or news reader should devote much time to imagining worst-case scenarios. Doesn’t seem healthy, and the public square starts to feel toxic when that's most of what we do... 6/n
As @BrankoMilan and others have said, complaining about election outcomes has become a bit of a sport. 7/n
Globally, democratic back-sliding has probably been exaggerated.

Closer to home, I fail to see how angrily repeating that "nation is devolving into chaos" must be a prerequisite to somehow qualify as a good, watchful citizen... 8/n
On that point, I'd say @pstanpolitics asks a valid question 9/n
I am not sure anyone is helped by the constant sense of panic. It's not a coordinated strategy, but what is the strategy? Looks like we're forgetting: "Trump is a threat" was expected to be a persuasive message in 2016. It failed. 10/n
We cite research from @levi_boxell, @andyguess, @BrendanNyhan, @JasonReifler, @ErikVoeten and others which clearly indicates that putting the blame on the internet or on the Millennials just won't do... 11/12
OK, so what could make the news cycle bearable? Two steps make sense to me.

1. Congress, act like the first branch (@GregWeiner1 nytimes.com/2018/06/21/opi…) & let us cool off.
2. Don't feed the trolls who thrive on fear (@Edsall nytimes.com/2018/06/28/opi…)

Thanks for reading. 12/12
That said, I don't buy the claim that newspapers must look for people who will reliably defend the president. There are independent-minded journalists who will give DJT credit for sensible policy. (And there are people on Fox who sometimes give credit to Democrats.)

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