Bridget Phetasy on why Trump and Biden fail to inspire and how new media are reshaping politics.
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“This is the best we’ve got?” asks podcaster and columnist Bridget Phetasy of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. “Do I poke out my left eye? Or my right eye?”
It’s no wonder to her that neither Biden nor Trump can crack 50 percent in approval ratings. They are, she says, cringe-inducing to everyone but hard-core partisans, and they’re the main reasons she won’t be voting for president in the 2020 election.
Phetasy is politically homeless, the most common reality in a country in which a 41-percent plurality call themselves independent, just 31 percent identify as Democrats, and only 26 percent cop to being Republicans.
The major parties are selling Americans on policy bundles that utterly inane. If you want tax cuts, you have to vote for pro-life candidates, for billions more in military spending, and against immigration. If you want to vote in favor of immigration, you have to also sign on to a $2 trillion Green New Deal, trapping children in failing district schools, and massive tax hikes.
Phetasy calls herself a “purple person” who is conservative red on some issues and liberal blue on others, and she’s tired of a “toxic binary” that squelches debate within parties. Until the Republicans and Democrats start appealing to voters like her, they will have to eke out tighter and tighter victories by scaring partisans with insane claims. Despite that, Phetasy is optimistic because she thinks new media are staging a conversation that speaks to politically homeless independents.
Edited by John Osterhoudt.
Photos: Michael Candelori from Philadelphia/CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0); Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0); Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0); Phil Roeder/Flickr; Alek S./Flickr; Polaris/Newscom; Victoria Pickering/Flickr; Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0); LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS/Newscom; Renee Jones Schneider/TNS/Newscom; Ron Sachs/Pool via CNP / SplashNews/Newscom; Albin Lohr-Jones/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Watchara Phomicinda/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Adam Schultz/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Bob Karp/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Michael Forster Rothbart/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Rod Lamkey/ZUMA Press/Newscom