Nearly a decade ago, former Canadian politician Michael Ignatieff argued in the New York Times that democracy can only thrive when its practitioners respect the difference between adversaries and enemies. “An adversary is someone you want to defeat,” he wrote. “An enemy is someone you have to destroy.”
Ignatieff was drawing on personal experience. He spent three years as leader of the Liberal Party in a Canadian Parliament controlled by the Conservatives. Two other politicians with relevant experience, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, embraced Ignatieff’s distinction during a recent joint appearance in Chapel Hill.