“Rule or Die” Mentality Comes to U.S. Politics

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

Minnesota Native Son (and fellow St. Louis Park High School grad) Thomas Friedman has one of the best columns of his illustrious career in today’s New York Times.

If you didn’t know, Friedman is a long-time, Pulitzer-winning¬†Times columnist and author. His unmatched knowledge of the Middle East (see, “From Beirut to Jerusalem”) makes him uniquely qualified to diagnose America’s current ills.

According to Friedman, we suffer from rapidly accelerating politicization — “tribalization,” really.

As in, everything becomes viewed through the prism of partisan politics.

In the U.S., that’s known as, “Democratic politics” and “Republican politics.”

Which inexorably leads to our current, polarized state of affairs:

It turns out there is now Republican energy ” oil, gas and coal ” and Democratic energy ” wind, solar and hydro. And if you believe in oil, gas and coal, you are also supposed to oppose abortion and face masks. And if you believe in solar, wind and hydro, you are presumed to be pro-abortion rights and pro-face mask.”

–Thomas Friedman, “Beirut’s Blast is a Warning for America”; The New York Times (8/9/2020).

Insuperable Opponent: Mother Nature

Factionalism can go on for awhile, without causing inordinate harm, until something decidedly non-political comes along.

Like climate change.

Or a pandemic.

Then, as Friedman notes, it’s only about “chemistry, biology, and physics.”

No one makes these points better than Friedman.

The country would be wise to familiarize itself with — and act upon — his insight and understanding . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
3 Responses
  1. Josh

    Huh. Not sure how I missed this piece yesterday but I found it today thanks to you, Mr. K. You sum it up nicely and yes, Friedman has remarkable insight and an almost ethereal power of expression. If only the folks who ought to read his column would do so! I hope that all is well with you and your family. I read your blog daily, still. One of the very few habits that I still indulge in from my real estate days!

  2. Josh: the piece ran at a funny time: early Sun. afternoon — too late for (print) Sunday paper, very early for Monday (caught my eye, too).

    All’s (reasonably) well here, just bracing for the Fall and beyond.

    Hope everyone’s healthy there, and that you’re enjoying grandpa-hood . . .

    P.S.: what a nice compliment!

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