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Do Americans really want politics to be normal again?

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After five years of political, economic and social upheaval in America, this month has seen some hints of a return to normalcy. The question is whether the two political parties (and their rabid ideological bases) are willing to settle for the benefits of “normal” politics instead of going for the “transformative” variety — which is tempting but almost always destructive.

Consider the events of November so far: Republicans won a gubernatorial race in Virginia by running an issues-based appeal to voters, particularly on education. Democrats passed legislation filled with hundreds of billions of dollars to build and repair physical infrastructure in all 50 states.

Are the parties reverting to form? It’s not quite that simple. But they’re getting there.

In Virginia, for example, Democrats say that Republicans won by appealing to racism, which is how they view the education issue, especially the attack on “critical race theory.”…

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