INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Senator Todd Young says the U-S needs to lower the temperature of its political debates.
In an address to the Economic Club of Indiana, Young warned the American tradition of self-government is at risk from two overlapping trends. People don’t interact with their communities as much, a development which has been dubbed the “bowling alone” phenomenon. Young says that feeling of isolation has mixed with other forces — globalization, the tech revolution, the rise of China, the declining rural population — to leave many parts of the country feeling resentful of what they view as a “rigged” system.
And Young warns that resentment has curdled into an increased political “tribalism,” in which both parties have given up on even trying to listen or appeal to voters on the other side.
Young says people need to push back against growing isolation from their neighbors, looking for mentoring opportunities or other ways to serve their community. And he says the media too often are focused less on informing people than on enraging them.
“Let’s shout less and listen more, to all voices, even those we disagree with,” Young said.
The Republican senator steered clear of any mention of President Biden or former president Donald Trump, but he included an unmistakable reference to Trump’s campaign slogan. “Let’s just place more faith in one another, not one man — or woman,” Young said. “It’s our responsibility to make America whole again.”
In a brief audience Q-and-A after his address, a questioner identifying himself as a longtime Republican asked Young when the party will distance itself from Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen. “I don’t” support that claim, Young said, then paused for several seconds before adding, “I don’t know” when other Republicans will follow suit.
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