Trends

The Crisis of Western Civilization

David Brooks: “In America, the basic fabric of civic self-government seems to be eroding following the loss of faith in democratic ideals. According to a study published in The Journal of Democracy, the share of young Americans who say it is absolutely important to live in a democratic country has dropped from 91 percent in the 1930s to 57 percent today.”

“While running for office, Donald Trump violated every norm of statesmanship built up over these many centuries, and it turned out many people didn’t notice or didn’t care.”

“The faith in the West collapsed from within. It’s amazing how slow people have been to rise to defend it.”

Most Think Marijuana Should Be Legal

A new CBS News poll finds that 61% of Americans think marijuana use should be legal, a five-point increase from last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll.

“Eighty-eight percent favor medical marijuana use. Seventy-one percent oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and its use in states that have legalized it, including opposition from most Republicans, Democrats, and independents.”

Most Oppose Bathroom Laws Limiting Transgender Rights

A new Public Religion Research Institute poll finds that 53% of Americans oppose laws requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, while 39% favor such laws.

Significant partisan divisions remain, the survey found. While 65% of Democrats and 57% of independents oppose laws limiting transgender bathroom rights, 59% of Republicans support the laws.

America’s Great Political Divide

First Read: “So much happened during Donald Trump’s first weekend as president but don’t lose sight of the biggest political storyline over the last 72 hours: America’s continued divide. In fact, you could argue that the United States today is more politically divided than it was during the brass-knuckled 2016 campaign.”

“In his inaugural address on Friday, President Trump took aim at Washington’s political establishment (‘For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost’), big cities across America (‘Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones…; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives’), and globalization (‘From this moment on, it’s going to be America First’).”

“Then, 24 hours later, millions of women — as well as some men — protested against Trump across the country and throughout the world. It was Rural America vs. Urban America. Nationalism vs. Globalism. American Carnage vs. Women’s Power. And we have 1,457 days to go in Trump’s presidency.”

Americans Expect Nation’s Deep Divisions to Persist

A new Pew Research survey finds 86% of Americans describe the country as more politically divided today than in the past, while just 12% say the country is no more divided.

“The nature of the country’s political divisions is a rare point of partisan agreement: Comparable majorities of Democrats and Democratic leaners (88%) and Republicans and Republican leaners (84%) say the country is more divided these days than in the past.”

For members: Obama Leaves Behind a More Divided Country

How Polarization Makes ‘Normal’ Candidates Unacceptable

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