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Fine piece, as usual, Markus. A couple of years ago, Chuck Blahous and I wrote a piece called "Leftward, Ho!" (https://www.discoursemagazine.com/politics/2020/10/19/leftward-ho/). In it, we wrote, "In fact, in recent years the drift of US policy has been vigorously leftward. Even conservatives have moved somewhat to the left, while liberals have moved sharply in that direction. Indeed, there are few if any policy areas where either end of the spectrum (either party, if you wish) has moved rightward.

The trope (conservatives moving sharply right, liberals moving slightly left) appears to be an illusion borne of a moving reference point—in this case, the leftward-shifting political center. It resembles a passenger on a 350-mile-per-hour westward-bound airplane saying, “Wow! New York City is moving eastward at 350 miles per hour!” A more precise analogy would be that it’s like a passenger on the same plane observing a 50-mile-per-hour westward-bound train below and convincing himself that the train is moving eastward, in reverse, at 300 miles per hour. When too many authors write about political polarization, they in effect describe the behavior or distribution of passengers inside the moving plane or train but neglect the fact that both vehicles are moving west (left)."

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