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Political Polarization

Political Polarization: Iowa Edition

Algernon Austin | Posted 02.02.2016 | Politics
Algernon Austin

Anyone watching the Republican and Democratic presidential debates would be excused for thinking that there are indeed two different countries called "America," a Republican America and a Democratic America.

Whatever Happened to the Famous American Ability to Say "Nuts" to Charlatans, Crazies, and Fear-Mongers?

Carla Seaquist | Posted 01.14.2016 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

Shortly after the onset of the Battle of the Bulge, one of World War II's hardest-fought campaigns, with the Americans surrounded by German troops, when the American commander General Anthony McAuliffe was given the enemy's ultimatum to surrender or face annihilation, he famously replied: "NUTS!"

New York Times: Work with National Rifle Association

Philip M. Hellmich | Posted 12.23.2015 | Religion
Philip M. Hellmich

As the presidential campaigns heat up, it is clear we are headed down the path of polarized politics that have made it difficult to address critical i...

Demagogues: Leaders of Collective Madness

Alan Briskin | Posted 12.09.2015 | Politics
Alan Briskin

Demagogues are creations of the collective as much as they lead groups into warfare and hatred. They exist as a funnel for existential fears and frustrated longings. By reducing complexity down to simple answers, they make themselves into emotional magnets for dis-ease. How do we resist such temptations?

Words From James Baldwin for Our Times: Behind Media Beef Over College "PC Culture"

Talmon J. Smith | Posted 12.07.2015 | Media
Talmon J. Smith

James Baldwin, the late novelist, playwright, essayist, and civil rights activist was lost to cancer 28 years ago this week. Still, his timeless dia...

Why Are Republicans Like This?

Richard North Patterson | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics
Richard North Patterson

That America is polarized to the point of paralysis is, by now, a melancholy given. But the recent doings of the GOP have led many to wonder if their erstwhile countrymen have decamped to a stranger realm.

Washington Gridlock: Too Many Principled Politicians?

Robert Alexander | Posted 10.26.2015 | Politics
Robert Alexander

Compromise and negotiation seem like relics of a bygone era. When principles, ideals, and values are at stake, there is little-to-no room for compromise.

Finding Alternatives to Fruitless Polarization

Rabbi Ted Falcon | Posted 10.26.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Ted Falcon

The eight of us sat around a table and pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves. After introductions, a conversation that began between me and the Palestinian named Mohammed quickly became the focus. The others may have been concerned where this discussion would lead.

3 Opportunities in a Polarized World

Mark Osler | Posted 10.21.2015 | Impact
Mark Osler

If we can meet those we disagree with on a neutral ground fraught with meaning, there is hope for reconciliation and joint action.

What Deborah Cox Asks Us All About Politics: How Did You Get Here?

Jarrett Hill | Posted 10.13.2015 | Politics
Jarrett Hill

Deborah Cox's most iconic song from the late 90s asks a simple question to a love that she never saw coming: "How did you get here?"

The Gingrich Revolution and the Roots of Republican Dysfunction

Steven M. Gillon | Posted 10.12.2015 | Politics
Steven M. Gillon

Republicans are now searching for a new leader, but personality and charisma will not heal this deep divide between politics and governance that has plagued the party for more than two decades. It may be the greatest unintended consequence of the Gingrich revolution.

Calling All Angels

Carolyn Lukensmeyer | Posted 09.28.2015 | Media
Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Perhaps the pope's statement that when it comes to the difficult issues of the day, "We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions," simply could not be heard in the political polarization that dominates Congress today.

Demystifying the Trump Coalition: It's the Authoritarianism

Jonathan Weiler | Posted 12.08.2015 | Politics
Jonathan Weiler

The basis of Trump's support isn't all that much of a mystery. In fact, his appeals are crafted - intentionally or not - to appeal to a bulwark of the contemporary Republican Party. That constituency is authoritarians.

How Its Own Media Prevents GOP Shift to the Middle

Michael Smerconish | Posted 08.16.2015 | Politics
Michael Smerconish

Lost in the short-term attention commanded by Donald Trump in the first Republican primary debate was a long-term problem for the party, created by questions that compelled the candidates to take positions at odds with a majority of Americans. While the debate questions were smart and sharp, they were also predicated on many conservative litmus tests. When the subjects of abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration and religion were aired, they elicited responses that, while pleasing to a core constituency, will be a tough sell in the general election. Adherents can get their news in a manner that validates their beliefs, notwithstanding that the objective of those outlets is to draw clicks from adherents based on controversy that would not exist in a world of compromise.

10 Reasons to Spend Time With Your Political Opposite

Living Room Conversations | Posted 08.14.2015 | Impact
Living Room Conversations

So why would anyone be crazy enough to spend significant time with someone on the other side of the political fence? Why funny you should ask...

Ten Reasons to Stay Away from Your Political Opposite

Living Room Conversations | Posted 08.07.2015 | Impact
Living Room Conversations

Those in the political bridge-building community are often quick to assume that the need for more civility is something 'most Americans' readily appreciate. Even though we're worried about political tensions, for different reasons we're just not going to do anything about it?

Hate Is Our True Enemy

Living Room Conversations | Posted 07.17.2015 | Impact
Living Room Conversations

Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens.

The Dangerous Farce

Dana Eyal | Posted 05.19.2015 | World
Dana Eyal

I think Israel needs a revolution. I think Israelis need to freak out, blow a gasket, wig out, and stop being blinded by the sheer idiocy of hate and power. It is time to start acting like the Greeks and Italians and be brave. I think it is time to burn.

Want Less Partisanship? Change Who Draws the Lines

Corbett A Grainger | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Corbett A Grainger

In most states, the legislators themselves can creatively draw districts that yield their desired outcome -- this is akin to the politicians choosing their constituents. What type of district would be best for a representative democracy? Districts drawn by the politicians themselves, or districts drawn independently according to an objective set of criteria?

Help Wanted, Now Hiring -- Leader of the United States

Robert Hall | Posted 06.02.2015 | Politics
Robert Hall

Democracy is a relational form of government. True Relational Leadership aspires to navigate this country to its unifying destiny not its leaders' polarizing re-election. Hiring our next leader starts with selecting a WHO that will lead us together to WHAT.

America at Its Best: Gay Marriage Points the Way to End Political Polarization

Rich Tafel | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics
Rich Tafel

To overcome our nations' political gridlock, we'll need to develop new ways to integrate both the conservative and liberal values that underlie the polarization.

Awakening the 'We the People' Within

Annabel Park | Posted 03.18.2015 | Politics
Annabel Park

What would happen if all of us critically examined our basic story of America and see if those stories cause us to make assumptions about people in our lives? What would happen if people could meet each other and see unique individuals with unique stories rather than characters in a pre-existing, pre-scripted story?

9 Stats That Will Make You Want To Hug A Republican (Or Maybe A Democrat)

The Huffington Post | Sara Boboltz | Posted 11.06.2014 | Politics

Tuesday's midterm elections handed Republicans full control of Congress, which will soon include an increasing number of extremely conservative (and l...

Millennials Need to Vote -- For Themselves and Their Country

Matt Camarda | Posted 01.03.2015 | Politics
Matt Camarda

To millennials (and most Americans), politics looks ugly, privileged and -- worst of all -- useless. The problem is that politics affects us whether or not we're engaged, and by not voting, millennials perpetuate a vicious cycle of apathy and cynicism that too many are happy to exploit.

Is Bipartisanship Possible?

Bob Burnett | Posted 01.01.2015 | Politics
Bob Burnett

Voters in many communities continue to be subjected to wave after wave of negative political ads. The obvious solution is to take big money out of politics, but another tactic would be to promote bipartisanship, to somehow dispel the rancor between Democrats and Republicans. Is bipartisanship possible? Or is the U.S. too polarized?