The Cold Civil War

The year in light reading (except the bottom, still to be read).

I wrote something. It ran in the Gazette on New Year’s Eve.

In a sense, it’s the seedier side to my year of travel. Reading about the gulfs in opinion in this country is one thing. Experiencing them — especially when I’m in a rental car without an auxiliary port and NPR/Christian radio make up the bulk of my options — is another.

Coincidentally, the Washington Post’s New Year’s Eve front page featured a visit to rural Iowa and interviewed Annette Sweeney, the former state representative who lost to Pat Grassley and is now a big Trump supporter with a job at the USDA. The article goes after the rural-urban divide that is just one of the deep fissures in the country today. The WOTUS rules, and the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit, were heavy factors in Iowa elections in 2016. (FWIW, the EPA posted an analysis of WOTUS, but that’s not the direct bureaucrat-ese.)

Compare that, then, to this commentary that practically begs for the Senate to be declared unconstitutional, lamenting that so many empty states have a say in government.

The examples I selected for my piece may not seem like much, but I felt they created more flavor than just listing a bunch of web stories and opinion pieces. I could have gone to weightier issues that way, but if we can’t agree on Taylor Swift’s right not to say something, what hope is there for the rest?

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