Summary of How Everything Became the Culture War

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Why do Americans seem to care more about kneeling NFL football players than their crumbling infrastructure? Issues that rouse strong emotional reactions resonate strongly in a country with deep cultural divides, explains Michael Grunwald, who has covered US national politics extensively as a senior writer for Politico Magazine. In an in-depth article, he describes how US President Donald Trump has utilized partisan divisions to rally his base – to the detriment of good policy making and thoughtful political dialogue.

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Michael Grunwald is a senior writer for Politico Magazine.


The election of President Donald Trump has re-invigorated and intensified America’s culture wars. An early indicator of the highly partisan direction of American politics, however, was the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain. The senior Arizona senator initially campaigned on the promise of putting country over party and seeking common ground with Democrats. Yet he could not resonate with his Republican followers until he started to castigate the US Congress for failing to address rising gas prices and called for a ramping up of oil production across the US. The issue connected with the Republican base...

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