The Pandemic Has Become One More Issue for Americans to Fight Over

Americans will survive the virus, but American political life is sicker than ever.

by J.D. Tuccille

Difficult circumstances are said to bring people together. But, if anything, COVID-19 has widened political and cultural fracture lines in the U.S., giving us more to fight over and less reason to trust each other in times to come.

In an election year dominated by two worn-out, mutually loathing legacy political parties, there’s no reason to think any of these tensions will be resolved by the outcome of the vote.

Sorted by culture, lifestyle, and political affiliation into two dominant tribes—”red” Republicans and “blue” Democrats—most Americans have declining contact with those outside their own camp, less in common with those who live differently, and slumping opinions of one another to match. Urban and suburban blues disdain those who don’t share their values, politics, and way of life, and rural and exurban reds return the sentiment.

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