The Agenda

Noam Scheiber on Stuart Stevens

Noam Scheiber’s profile of Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s chief strategist, is interesting for a number of reasons, e.g., it sheds light on how the intensification of partisan polarization has made it harder for people to cross cultural worlds. Though I am usually skeptical of arguments that lament polarization, which I tend to see as a consequence of campaign finance regulation (which has limited the moderating influence of the much-weakened national political parties), a more inclusive politics (i.e., a political environment in which it is harder to successfully marginalize large swathes of the population), a more ambitious and intrusive state (which raises the stakes of political contestation), etc., the fact that many of us are less likely to encounter and to seriously engage people with different political views greatly facilitates mutual demonization. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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