Norman Ornstein is an American Enterprise Institute scholar and keen observer of the American political system. In his last two books, co-authored with Thomas Mann, Ornstein takes us on a historical journey to identify the roots of decline in the quality of Congressional governance, illustrates how the “politics of extremism” was born and how its growth was allowed to continue unfettered for decades until it created the political environment ripe for producing a president like no other.
Ornstein’s latest entry, “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported” co-written with Mann and E.J. Dionne, takes up where the last book left off.
In her Sept. 16 Washington Post review, political historian Beverly Gage wrote:
“The book is a team effort by three well-respected Beltway thinkers: the liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., the American Enterprise Institute’s more conservative Norman J. Ornstein and Ornstein’s longtime co-author Thomas E. Mann, of the Brookings Institution. Their bipartisan — or, perhaps, tripartisan — work seems intended to send the rest of us a message: It’s time to find some common ground before obstructionism, demagoguery, fake news and racial resentment become the dominant features of our national politics.
Gage notes, however, that the book is less about President Trump and more about the “structural and cultural changes that made his election possible.” In an essay dated July 18, 2016 on the Vox website, Ornstein and Mann declare: “The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”