Never before in living memory has America been so deeply divided, and this paralysis threatens to weaken and corrode democracy. Ideological silos have become much more common among both conservatives and liberals.
One opinion poll says 7 in 10 Americans believe that our politics have reached a dangerous low point. And most say the climate is a new normal— not temporary.
This is the first of four “How Do We Fix It?” episodes leading up to the Midterm Elections that discuss local and national attempts to push back against political dysfunction and the lack of rational, respectful debate. Forthcoming episodes will report on new initiatives in Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina.
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, is a leader in the field of deliberative democracy and social entrepreneurship. She is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
“Voters are frustrated, worried, and angry with their leaders and ashamed of how our political process works these days. Heated rhetoric and a dramatic shift away from bipartisan collaboration pervade national politics, leaving us unable to solve the major challenges confronting our nation,” the group says.