How many times have heard somebody say that the political campaign has reached a new low? How much worse is the 2016 race compared to previous elections?
We asked Princeton University Professor, Sean Wilentz, to give us a history lesson.
In his latest book, "The Politicians and the Egalitarians" Sean makes the case for pragmatism, arguing that politicians serve the country best through the art of compromise.
On this episode, he tells us that "nasty, slimy stuff" is nothing new in Presidential campaigns, using the wild rhetoric of 1828 and 1860 as examples. But what is new this year, Sean argues, is hyper-partisanship, "where you cannot imagine the other side even existing. You want to obliterate them. You want to wipe them off the face of the earth."
The SOLUTIONS start with us.
How we talk about those we disagree with. Are you gleefully vilifying the opposition?
- Go beyond our information silos. Read and listen to those we disagree with. allsides.com has daily examples, looking at the news from the left, right and center. Follow journalists who cover solutions.
- Revitalize civil discourse. If you have a strong disagreement with friends or neighbors, consider setting up a living room conversation.
Support politicians who are pragmatic and work for common ground.
Useful articles: "What The Decline of Partisanship Would Look Like" and"How Conservatives and Progressives Will Work Together Next Year."