Opinion | The Politics of Exhaustion – by David Brooks – The New York Times

“On campuses 10 percent of students are able to intimidate the other 90 percent, who don’t want to say the wrong thing and get canceled. In Congress, the Trumpians are able to intimidate the members who realize what a problem he is. The people in the two big power blocs are not good at winning the war against each other, but they are really good at intimidating the moderates on their own side.

In this way, those in the exhausted camp perpetuate their own misery. They complain about the terrible choices each election cycle, but never organize enough or become imaginative enough to offer something they themselves might want.

In Britain they’ve mostly taken money out of politics, but they still had an election even worse and more polarized than our own. In the end, if Johnson, as expected, wins easily, it will be in part because exhausted voters will have swung to Trump/Johnson nationalist demagogy since the only alternative is a Corbyn/Sanders class war.

In the States, voters still have a chance to turn the emotional page, to elect a person who displays that you can be a progressive or you can be a conservative without turning politics into perpetual war. Pete Buttigieg is rising and Joe Biden’s support is resilient precisely because they are not exhausting.

The interesting question is whether, in the heat of battle, the exhausted voters can get over their fatigue, cynicism and timidity and take their own side in a fight.”