Good social analysis, like good theology, should provide at least two things for readers. First, it should provide an interpretive framework to help readers locate themselves in the contemporary world, to help them make sense out of what is happening.
In their book, Off Center, political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson use statistics to prove that the Republicans have defied political gravity. Instead of trimming their sails to the moderate breezes of the American middle, the Republicans have lurched far to the right. “According to the conventional wisdom about American politics, this shouldn’t be possible,” write Hacker and Pierson.
On June 1, 1950, when the United States was gripped by fears of nuclear war and treason, when demagoguery was being practiced on a scale unparalleled in our history, one bright moment pierced the darkness.