President Trump delivers the 2018 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After more than two years of exploring why American politics is so broken, Jon Ward of Yahoo News today posts his conclusion: weakened political parties, driven by the deeper issue of a loss of understanding even of what institutions are and why they exist.

The bottom line: "Populism is popular these days, and many Americans ... want to make the political system more fair. ... But ... anti-party reforms have gone too far and are now having a multitude of negative impacts."

  • "People blame dysfunction on the establishment and call for more reform. The reform further weakens the ability of parties and party leaders and increases dysfunction and chaos."
  • "Democrats are resisting empowering their own party officials as they head into the 2018 midterms and toward a 2020 showdown with President Trump." They are going to reduce their number of superdelegates in the primary.
  • Why it matters: "Anti-establishment thinking has been one of the most constant and dominant trends of the last half-century. ... Yet ... institutions can protect us from the abuse of power."
  • Worthy of your time.

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