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Political Polarization

TV: What the Media and Politicians Are Talking About and What They're Not

David Helfenbein | Posted 03.20.2014 | Politics
David Helfenbein

The media is spinning around theories of what happened to Malaysia Flight 370. Nobody seems to know the truth as of yet. Instead, seasoned pilots and security experts appear to be the best narrators on TV of any stories that we hear.

Howard's Daily: The Perils of Political Science

Philip K. Howard | Posted 03.12.2014 | Politics
Philip K. Howard

America shouldn't fear action. It should fear a political culture designed to divert attention away from practical realities. The solution is a clean break: New leaders who do not get overwhelmed by cynicism, emboldened by a popular movement to fix this broken system, top to bottom.

Jason Linkins

In What World Is Bernie Sanders Only The 37th Most Liberal Senator? | Jason Linkins | Posted 02.07.2014 | Politics

National Journal, as is its wont, has released its latest round of rankings in an effort to determine who are the most liberal and most conservative m...

Why the Hastert Rule Is Bad for America

David Catalan | Posted 03.25.2014 | Politics
David Catalan

The Hastert Rule is the lower chamber's analog of the filibuster. It's also a shrewd and politically strategic play to maintain the status quo. On the other hand, the Tea Party is an acerbic bunch for whom "compromise" is anathema.

Beyond Mandela -- South Africa's Lesson for the World

Harry Boyte | Posted 03.14.2014 | Impact
Harry Boyte

Seeing Mandela the movie was another occasion, beyond the funeral, to reflect on what South African experiences have to teach the world.

Will 2014 Be The Year of Listening?

Aspen Baker | Posted 03.02.2014 | Impact
Aspen Baker

2013 revealed a promising new political trend: A renewed interest in listening, connection and acknowledgment of gray areas to spur innovation and pos...

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.

It's Inequality, Stupid: Defending Affordable Health Care

Bob Burnett | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Bob Burnett

The Affordable Care Act is off to a rocky start. Some Democratic congresspeople have been backing away from the law. We can't let that happen. Progressives can't let "Obamacare" fail.

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?

Women and Compromise: A DW-NOMINATE Analysis of Congresswomen and Congressmen

Jarryd Willis | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jarryd Willis

The data supports the conventional wisdom that women are more likely to compromise than men. Of course, there are several caveats and limitations to these results.

Why the Pope Hates Polarization

Henry G. Brinton | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Henry G. Brinton

Pope Francis shook up the Roman Catholic Church by saying in a recent interview that he will not focus on the polarizing issues of abortion, gay marriage and contraception. Instead, he wants to pursue an inclusive church, one that is "the home of all."

Reflections on the Budget Standoff: How a Political Conflict Becomes an Institutional Crisis

Matthew A. Baum | Posted 12.16.2013 | Politics
Matthew A. Baum

What will happen if the Republican Party stays to the right, depriving itself of the support of moderates and the rising demographic groups? It's unclear whether the party as currently constituted can for long continue to compete at the national level.

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.

Political Neuroscience and the Compromiser's Dilemma

Jarryd Willis | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jarryd Willis

Do you compromise for the good of the country now and risk being replaced by a more extreme right-winger during midterms, or become more extreme yourself by obstructing everything in order to prevent anything?

You'll Never Believe What Democrats And Republicans Do Differently

Aaron Sankin | Posted 06.11.2013 | San Francisco

The divide between Democrats and Republicans in California is famously wide. The state that's currently sending both Nancy Pelosi and Darrell Issa to ...

Aaron Sankin

The Most Politically Polarized State Is... | Aaron Sankin | Posted 06.06.2013 | San Francisco

When most people think about California politics, the word "liberal" often comes to mind. While California's Democratic Party is dominant, labeling...

Health Care Reform: Us vs.Them

Morna Murray | Posted 07.29.2013 | Politics
Morna Murray

It's no news flash to say health care reform is politicized. Our country is increasingly polarized, "us" versus "them" and "either/or" instead of "both/and." But it's one thing to say it, it's another to watch it play out in the implementation of health care reform across our United States.

The Need for Common Frames of Reference

Mark Rice | Posted 07.22.2013 | Media
Mark Rice

One of the great achievements of the Internet has been the explosion of websites, blogs, etc. dedicated to politics and the news. This very same achievement, however, has paradoxically resulted in the erosion of a common frame of reference for understanding the news.

Wilderness Politics: Meeting The Challenge Of Climate Change

Harry Boyte | Posted 07.13.2013 | Religion
Harry Boyte

In the face of the climate crisis, many express panic. The biblical story of the years in the Wilderness, in which the fractious and "stiff-necked" people of Israel agreed to a covenant with God and created a new way of life, offers solutions to the challenge.

What Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" Really Means

Morna Murray | Posted 05.13.2013 | Politics
Morna Murray

It's not just about numbers. It's not just about programs. It's about a philosophy that is fundamentally opposed to the values and principles upon which our country was founded. Let's face it. We are not a polarized nation. We are a nation at war with itself.

Is Harvard Ashamed of Bill O'Reilly?

Wyatt Troia | Posted 05.10.2013 | College
Wyatt Troia

Too many students here waste a unique opportunity to learn from equally intelligent other young people who think differently than they do. On a campus that prizes diversity, diversity of thought is largely squandered.

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?

Left Out! It Just Aint Right! The Extreme Center Needs to Be Heard

Peter Merriman | Posted 03.07.2013 | Politics
Peter Merriman

If we are ever to get back to a government that can have the faith of the American people, we need to limit the extremists in Congress. Today, only 50 of the 435 house seats are competitive districts according to former Senator Bill Bradley.

This Political Polarization Is Really Bad for America

Mohamed A. El-Erian | Posted 02.27.2013 | Business
Mohamed A. El-Erian

As the year comes to an end, dysfunctional Congressional politics continues to dominate the headlines, and rightly so. If left to fester, the related inability of Congress to step up to economic responsibilities would risk being associated with more than just sluggish growth or persistently high unemployment. It would also undermine the ability of many citizens to realize the American dream.

Let's Stop Talking About Red States and Blue States

Mark Rice | Posted 02.09.2013 | Politics
Mark Rice

While demonizing whole states may feel good, it does little to illuminate the complex realities of American politics.