That's a splendid piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times. A lot of it is depressing, but not this bit:

For hope to resurface, we need specific issues and potential compromises to re-emerge.

That is something I have been mulling for a while now. How to get back from Twitter-gutter wars into reasonably civil public discussions and conversations about, you know, principles and ideas and specific proposals. Not "you're-a-racist-you're-a-filthy-commie", but "hey, we all want a tax system that's fair and not overly complicated, what specific proposals could we discuss that would allow us to make small improvements that we could build on?"

It's a challenge alright, but one I believe we need to meet if we want to get to a better place.