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Polarization: Worse Than You Think

Bob Burnett | Posted 01.29.2014 | Politics
Bob Burnett

Some political observers believe that if we only had competitive elections throughout the country -- if most congressional districts weren't gerrymandered -- then we would have more moderates in Congress and, therefore, less polarization. Think again. Polarization is the new normal.

On the 50th Anniversary of His Assassination, JFK's Message Is More Important Now Than Ever

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Michael Shammas

We were once a country that wasn't scared to do the big things, weren't we?

What's Wrong With America?

Jared Bernstein | Posted 12.20.2013 | Politics
Jared Bernstein

Reflecting on the recent shutdown/debt ceiling debacle, the resolution of which is only a few months' respite until the same self-imposed deadlines reappear, you've got to wonder: what's wrong with America?

Why Our Politics Don't Work Any More

Sandy Goodman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Sandy Goodman

OK, so the latest Republican-manufactured crisis is finally over. But we're on warning that they could do it all over again in just three months. Which gets us to the question of why our government is so dysfunctional.

Coping With the "Crazies" in D.C. and Elsewhere

Robert Hoch | Posted 12.11.2013 | Religion
Robert Hoch

How do we temper "rifled" barbs and hot-tempered outbursts? Well, I suppose we begin not with the "crazies" in our offices and workplaces, but with the "crazy" in us.

Mr. Jerry Mander: Arch-Villain or Innocent Bystander?

Jared Bernstein | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jared Bernstein

One of the problems we're facing now is the inability of the House Republican leadership to mete out effective discipline on the Tea Party, or, if you will, the "shutdown caucus." And one reason for that -- not the only reason, maybe not even the biggest -- is gerrymandering.

Why the Anger?

Robert Reich | Posted 10.12.2013 | Politics
Robert Reich

Why is there more anger, vituperation, and political polarization now than even during Joe McCarthy's anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the tempestuous struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the divisive Vietnam war, or the Watergate scandal?

...But, He Shot His Brother

Catherine Meeks, Ph.D. | Posted 09.16.2013 | Religion
Catherine Meeks, Ph.D.

It is difficult to see what we will do as a nation in regard to our understanding of white skin and its privilege, but thoughtful people who are committed to peace, justice and making the world better in general need to consider what they will do.

Can Government Still Work?

Lance Simmens | Posted 07.06.2013 | Politics
Lance Simmens

That our country is politically polarized is probably one reality both sides can actually agree upon. But I fear that ideological and conceptual polarization has become a casualty to politics rather than the other way around.

On the Cognitive and Historic Roots of Our Destructive Modern Polarization

David Ropeik | Posted 04.13.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

Maybe understanding the historic events and behavioral roots that have produced these venomously angry polarized times can help us let go of at least a little of our own deep instinct to align with the tribe in the name of safety and protection.

Here's Something to Really Worry About -- More of Us Are Worried

David Ropeik | Posted 04.02.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

It is hardly news that America has become more divided. But this survey offers fresh support that these divisions are not about gun control or abortion or any of the individual issues we fight about, but about deeper dissatisfactions and worries.

Polarization in 4 Steps

Michael Smerconish | Posted 03.16.2013 | Politics
Michael Smerconish

Why was it so difficult to avoid the fiscal cliff? Especially when, in the end, Congress couldn't salvage a grand bargain à la Simpson-Bowles, but instead settled for a quick fix?

Dear Huddled Masses, Please Come to America and Save Us!

Peter Samuelson | Posted 02.21.2013 | Politics
Peter Samuelson

To those 885,800 immigrants who arrived this year (up 110,000 from the year before), I say "Thank you for coming! We welcome and cherish your contributions to our economy. Please ignore the right wing nut jobs who want to send you away.

Can the Marijuana Legalization Debate Bring Republicans & Democrats Together?

Howard Meitiner | Posted 12.16.2012 | Politics
Howard Meitiner

This back-and-forth controversy over marijuana is like a microcosm of the entire polarized political sphere. But we're losing sight of the common ground here: we all agree that addiction is a disease.

A Dickens of a Dichotomy

Arnie Reisman | Posted 06.29.2012 | Politics
Arnie Reisman

The national motto of France, which had its roots in the French Revolution, is "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite." And how is that working for us here in the U.S.? Our liberties are being threatened by rightwing power grabs and over-reactions to threats of terrorism.

Bathing in Moral Superiority

Alex Castellanos | Posted 06.02.2012 | Politics
Alex Castellanos

In the Grand Old Party, we see moral standards as necessary but humbling measures of our imperfections, revealing how far and how often we fall short. The principled perfection of the left, however, requires little such humility.

What Olympia Snowe and the Media Get Wrong About Polarization in American Politics

Jonathan Weiler | Posted 05.01.2012 | Politics
Jonathan Weiler

The Olympia Snowes of the world can complain all they want about the lack of middle ground. But plaints like this misapprehend fundamentally the dynamics of American politics. We're polarized largely because one party -- Snowe's own -- has simply gone off the deep end.

On Change

Marian Salzman | Posted 04.29.2012 | Home
Marian Salzman

And who could have imagined a world of "Yes, we can," in which a young-ish African American president gets elected, only to be challenged by those claiming to want to restore some notion of the American dream, complete with a blurring of church and state?

Polarization: Why It's Destroying Our America, Our World, and Our Lives

Ethan Marcus | Posted 01.28.2012 | Home
Ethan Marcus

Polarization in any environment is never a good thing-- unfortunately, this is what has happened to our world and our country, especially in its policies and politics.

Democracy With No Center Is a Zero

Peter Samuelson | Posted 11.12.2011 | Politics
Peter Samuelson

Democracy is a rare and precious flower and it has allowed more progress for more people than any other system ever invented. But it is fragile. You can't yell too much. You can't demonize those who disagree with you.

Self-Criticism: A New Habit of Mind

Carla Seaquist | Posted 09.25.2011 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

Once again we do the rigid Kabuki dance, leading once again to political stalemate -- this time over raising the federal debt ceiling. Even with the ...

America Divided

John Graham | Posted 09.19.2011 | Politics
John Graham

Watching the sandbox antics in Washington over yet another polarizing issue -- the debt ceiling -- I feel sad and angry at my country's incompetence.

Crowdsourcing for the Common Good

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 09.18.2011 | Politics
Jeffrey Abelson

What if there were a way to neuter ideological extremists, and zero out the oversized influence of lobbyists and big money and all the corruption that follows? And do it pretty damn quick.

"Standstill Nation" as the New Abnormal?

Thomas Ferguson | Posted 08.20.2011 | Politics
Thomas Ferguson

Let's try to clarify why Congress is actually gridlocked. The bottom line is, alas, a bottom line. It is not complicated. And it has nothing to do with any design for a digital age.

Assessing the Republican Field

David Helfenbein | Posted 06.20.2011 | Politics
David Helfenbein

There are four real contestants in the Republican primary. They are as follows, and in no particular order: Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Tim Pawlenty.