Voters Are So Polarized, It's Hurting Efforts to Hold Trump and Other Leaders Accountable

If you're evaluating the president, don't trust your lying eyes.Blind partisanship has been a staple of American democracy for most of its inception, but it's often been checked by a swath of voters with the sensibilities to hold public officials accountable, even those from similar political parties or ideologies.In the past, public sentiment at critical moments came from a place of honesty, not pure politics.Everyone knew Richard Nixon abused his power and had to go. In 1980, even many Democrats, including Sen. Edward Kennedy, concluded that Jimmy Carter was ineffectual and didn't deserve another term as president.Sadly, if Nixon was president today, the Watergate scandal would be explained away as alternative facts, while Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would be accused of manufacturing "fake news."And much of the public would buy it.As Donald Trump famously put it, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would still back him. That's not far from the truth.Trump has had major blunders in his campaign and his short time as president, errors that would have sunk officials of yesteryear. He shrugs it off, calls the media the opposition party and forges ahead to the next controversy.His supporters are unmoved by the endless revelations of his dysfunctional White House. That has led would-be voices in the GOP to sit silently. They dare not cross the president for fear of paying a price in the 2018 elections, when base voters will return to the polls in Republican primaries.  Continue reading...

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