Against “There Are Two X-Wing Parties”

Source: Astral Codex Ten
by Scott Alexander

“One of my least favorite political tropes is the claim that ‘America has two left-wing parties’ or ‘America has two right-wing parties’ or ‘both major parties are socialist’ or however else you want frame this. The argument goes that even the Democrats aren’t truly left (or even the Republicans aren’t truly right), and so one side of the political spectrum completely controls discourse. Taken as an absolute claim, it’s meaningless. Both US parties are on the same side of center? What center? By the standards of the Soviet Union, both US political parties are extremely far right; by the standards of Pharaonic Egypt, they’re incomprehensibly far left.” (06/08/22)