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polarization


  • When Did America Stop Being Great?

    by Nick Bryant

    Nick Bryant began observing America as a 16 year old at the patriotic spectacle of the 1984 Olympics. His book traces the path from "Morning in America" to "American Carnage," fixing some blame but also seeking a way through. 



  • America's Churches are Now Polarized, Too

    The Trump era has concentrated longstanding differences about the role of faith in American life and the obligations of the faithful to act in the world. During the McCarthy era, the Republican establishment pushed back against attacks on clergy by the far right. Will something similar happen today? 



  • What Lincoln Understood About Unity

    by Harold Holzer

    "The fact is, even the most eloquent calls for harmony seldom repair a house divided — not without the accompaniment of painful but unavoidable choices about national policy and purpose."



  • When the Threat of Political Violence Is Real

    by Joanne B. Freeman

    Republican calls for unity refuse to claim responsibility and in some cases level the threat of further violence to bully colleagues out of holding Trump and his allies accountable for the Capitol riots of January 6. This is reminiscent of the climate of threat and violence in Congress in the 19th century ahead of the Civil War.



  • Why It’s Time to Take Secessionist Talk Seriously

    by Richard Kreitner

    "The Confederate flags the insurgents carried through the Capitol weren’t about the past, but the future." (note: Subscription required to read source article.)



  • One Nation, Indivisible: Really? Forever?

    Richard Kreitner, author of "Break It Up" joins Burt Cohen's podcast to discuss the history and future of calls to break up the United States.


  • Can Biden Broaden Our American Dream?

    by Walter G. Moss

    Can a program of national service create pathways to individual opportunity while also building the social cohesion America needs to recover? 



  • Just Forget About Donald Trump

    by Peter Wehner

    It may be difficult for many Americans to let go of deep anger at Donald Trump and the political movement he represents, but it will be necessary. 



  • A Battle Between the Two Souls of America

    by Ibram X. Kendi

    We the people of the United States do not have a single national soul, but rather two souls, warring with each other. The battle for the soul of America is actually the battle between the souls of America.


  • Lessons from the 18th Century Dutch Republic

    by Matthijs Tieleman

    The history of the Dutch Republic demonstrates that polarization can gradually destroy a country from within and can easily be exploited by foreign actors. The embrace of political pluralism by every citizen is the key antidote to the rot of polarization.


  • Americans Have Feared Another Civil War Since the End of the Last One

    by Richard Kreitner

    The ink was hardly dry on Lee's surrender at Appomattox before Andrew Johnson's conciliation toward the former Confederacy clashed with the unfulfilled goals of freed slaves and radical Republicans to threaten further violence. These fault lines have been hidden but never healed in the restored American union.



  • Kent State: 50 Years After the Shootings

    by Thomas M. Grace

    Myth has obscured the conflict that led to the killings at Kent State: a long-building clash between a broad set of youth-led protest movements and established authority. That clash continued after May 4, 1970.