#176 Bridging the Divide: Iowa

American democracy is in crisis and politics have become weaponized with name calling and personal attacks. Trust in national institutions and the media is at an all-time low.

Congress and The Supreme Court are much more likely than in the past to cast predictable party-line votes. As a nation we are failing to make creative solutions, based on compromise.

This episode is the first of three to report on local efforts that push back against the toxic impact of tribalization and political polarization. 

"This is not just a shake our fists at what Donald Trump has brought to our national discourse," Kathie Obradovich, Opinion editor at The Des Moines Register, tells us. "It goes deeper to our ability to speak to and understand each other."

"People who used to put party politics aside and work for common interests are just fewer and fewer. The number of prominent moderates in Iowa politics I can count on one hand."

In this episode, we report on the work of Revive Civility Iowa, a project of the National Institute of Civil Discourse, to bring a series of tools that help people overcome the degradation of our public dialogue. A two-hour workshop in Des Moines was organized by The Ray Center at Drake University, which works to improve civility and promote ethical leadership. 

More than two-thirds of Americans feel our incivility is a crisis. "How Do We Fix It?" looks at how neighbors, family members and local communities are responding in positive ways.

This episode is partially funded by "Renewing Democracy", an initiative of Solutions Journalism Network