NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE
n his farewell address as president, George Washington warned that “the alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge,” could be a “frightful despotism” and lead to an even more miserable tyranny. Washington here recognized that factional passions — especially when they cloak themselves in the language of existential emergency — can unsettle a democratic republic.
Two recent documents illustrate how calls for emergency politics can worsen the polarization that is causing so much political disruption today. First, a New York Times editorial warns that every day is January 6; the Republican Party is supposedly targeting …