Yesterday, David Brooks pointed something out on The News Hour. He cited a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from April 23rd (so a little dated) that showed that 80% of Americans support strict shelter in place restrictions. He uses this statistic to show that Americans are united in way we haven’t been in a very, very long time.
Unfortunately, the same poll shows that 64% of Democrats and 56% of Independents think the worst is still to come, whereas only 27% of Republicans think the worst is still in front of us. And though majorities of all political stripes support the stay at home measures, there is a big difference in the size of those majorities based on party.
I’d really like to believe Brooks’ sunny outlook on this. Could we be beginning to see the end of our long national nightmare of polarization? Though Brooks is perhaps a little overoptimistic, there is definitely a case here for a more cautious, nuanced hopefulness.
The question I have to ask, though, is if not this, what? If we can’t, as a nation, begin to get it together after this shitshow, it’s truly terrifying to think what it will take.