Former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.” He was referring specifically to congressional races, where responding to local issues from a national perspective – farm subsidy payments, social security checks, small business loans, etc. – was crucial to winning re-election. O’Neill’s aphorism still applies, but only to an extent, as House districts trend more blue or red over time.
Indeed, today most politics is national, not local; we can decry partisanship and polarization, but they are facts of contemporary political life. Sometimes, however, the price of partisanship is simply too high. This is one of those times.