Dec 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Axios Finish Line: Normal America strikes back

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Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

This article originally appeared in Axios Finish Line, our nightly newsletter on life, leadership and wellness. Sign up here.

My new obsession is that most of America is exponentially more normal than cable TV, Twitter and the most-read mainstream stories make it seem, Jim writes.

  • Why it matters: The past few months prove that for all the hyperventilating and self-loathing, normal America is prevailing over the loudmouths on the left and the right who dominate our screens.

Before you email me that I'm nuts, let's go to the tape:

  • Most election deniers running for positions to manage elections were defeated, contrary to widespread worries.
  • We had a razor-thin election for control of Congress, yet virtually everyone accepted the results, even when the vote-counting dragged on for days. Minimal protests followed.
  • The nation is on the brink of federal protection for same-sex marriage, with 71% of Americans in support of it — unthinkable less than a decade ago.
  • Democrats have mostly dropped their "defund the police" calls, replaced by a general consensus that police are a vital, if imperfect, part of safer communities.
  • There has been a healthy pushback against obsessive word policing on one side and blatantly insensitive language on the other. Outside of Twitter and talk shows, how many people do you actually know obsessed with canceling people or doing things worthy of canceling?
  • Our justice system seems to be working or holding. Two leaders of the Oath Keepers were just convicted of sedition for Jan. 6 plotting, and the best I can tell, few took to the streets in protest.

The big picture: Yes, politics remains alarmingly polarized and Twitter, a hot mess. At the same time, most of America is busy being more nuanced and normal than what you often see on the screen.

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