EP 231 America’s Living Dangerously on Its Fault Lines

You do get the feeling that America’s coming apart, don’t you?  In political terms, we either talk past each other or, in this period, don’t talk to each other at all.  So, how did we get here and is there any way to repair the divide? Julian Zelizer, our guest on this podcast and a Princeton professor and frequent commentator on CNN, explores this question, along with his co-author, Kevin Kruse, in their book ‘Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974’.  This phenomenon, many years in the making, cuts across political, economic, racial and sexual lines and is often set against a backdrop of red and blue. And even though they trace much of this back to the disillusionment in the aftermath of Watergate, you have to look to the political and cultural chaos of the 1960’s as to where questions about the ‘establishment’ really began to rage.  No sooner had LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ initiatives begun than Richard Nixon picked up the mantle of a ‘Southern Strategy’ to exacerbate resentments against them. And we’ve been off the races ever since, with the most colorful characters in this national bloodletting coming from the conservative side of the political spectrum. Can we ever crawl back from the political ledge? Listen in.