America Is Less Polarized Than You Think


This is an excerpt from the original article, which you can find in full on The Nation at:

Sometimes it seems the only thing Americans agree on is that we’re too polarized to agree. The term is thrown about by folks of all political stripes. Glenn Beck recently lamented, for example, that even faced with the now-documented Russian intelligence operation, “we’re far too polarized” to galvanize a response. In 2016, Pew Research reported that more than 40 percent of both Democrats and Republicans view members of the opposing party as more closed-minded and dishonest than other Americans. Sure sounds polarized to me.

But this sweeping verdict on our culture is itself a big problem. In at least five ways it impedes our understanding of what’s really going on and hinders our grasp of solutions...

[Read the five ways here:]

So, let’s toss the simple polarization diagnosis. Yes, it’s true that we’ve been actively divided in the service of an elite minority, but we can unite in our vast agreement, revealed in the polls above, that in a democracy each of us has the right to a voice and a fair chance—sentiments guiding the growing Democracy Movement. In it, millions of gutsy Americans are fighting for reforms that range from voting rights to the public financing of elections. Shedding half-truths about ourselves is a great place to start in building a democracy that works for all.