Frances Moore Lappé's Take on Political Polarization


In a recent article for, Frances Moore Lappé, author of many books including the best selling Diet for a Small Planet, explores the idea that our quick embrace of the idea that America is too polarized prevents us from the transpartisan collaboration needed for a healthy democracy.

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. ... But this sweeping verdict on our culture is itself a big problem.

She goes on to detail five ways this attitude impedes our understanding of what's really going on, suggesting that antidemocratic movements work against our political system for their own gains and pointing out the damage caused by embracing the polarization argument blindly.

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.

It's an excellent and very hopeful perspective for all transpartisans. You can read the entire article on The Nation's website here: