the extreme wrong we congratulate ourselves for not being

Digital polarization is not simply the process whereby views tend toward extremes, but that which sorts us against our better judgment to commit to a stance of binary opposition. In other words, the process by which politics is hollowed out into opinionating and by which it converges with consumption and entertainment. “Hitler” is the extreme wrong we congratulate ourselves for not being—the absolute “dislike” or “thumbs down,” the touchstone zero in reference to which we put ourselves at square one. But he is also the black hole around and toward which online speech inexorably trends, the nihilism latent at the dead center of digital discourse. We need him there, just as media of all stripes are coaxing Trump to stay in view, to run again, to keep at the eye of attention, to entail the Worst for us—in order to feel that something is still going on, that we could still collectively respond within the terms of good and evil.



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