Opinion | A New Binary Defines America in 2021 — And It Might Be Stronger Than Any Other


I have always seen Thanksgiving not so much as a holiday about the past (too problematic), but as a time to take stock of the national community in the present, to remind ourselves of the ways Americans truly do still depend on each other and to think about how we can build on that solidarity in the future.

In 2021, this view feels antiquated, almost irrelevant.

Division has come to wholly obscure interdependency, creating dangerous new binaries — rational and irrational, law-abiding and vigilante, climate change belief and climate change rejection. While these divides are not entirely new, they are dramatic, with consequences that are nothing less than existential. Yet, this year, the most distressing binary to me — the one that makes every other seem impossible to bridge — is perhaps the most mundane: vaccinated and not.

Everyone I know

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