There’s a perfect German word for America’s perpetually enraged culture
My latest at The Week, on
on America’s addiction to conflict. Naturally, there’s a German word for that.
I recently learned of a German word, streitsüchtig, which is typically translated “quarrelsome.” But its literal meaning is dispute-addicted. It describes not just a tendency toward conflict but a certain hunger for it — a need for discord or yearning for something to oppose.
Streitsüchtig describes our politics perfectly. We are addicted to conflict, and it’s only getting worse. The addiction is not endemic to any one spot on the political spectrum, nor is it confined to unreasonable reactions to Trump’s more reasonable moments. And as long as it remains, I struggle to see a scenario in which we return to any semblance of the political normalcy many say they desire.