Only the Pop Remains

“Alienation breeds a distrust that corrodes any collective effort. To be “woke” in the alienated culture is to embrace the most cynical interpretation of every situation, to assume bad intent in every actor, to imagine the conspiratorial malevolence of your foes.” (David Brooks​,

Both political sides have experienced alienation over the past year: the ‘right’ in the months leading up the election; the ‘left,’ in its aftermath. Both have used it to their advantage. Both continue to use it to fuel their speech and actions.

But I’m not sure one can do much with alienation after it’s spent–usually in acquiring some kind of power. Or whether one can unite a coalition, much less a country, powered by alienation.

It’s like the ‘fuel’ in bottle rockets. Only the ‘pop’ remains.


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