This week offers a wonderful textbook case for one of the favorite technique of polarization: Instead of arguing the pros or cons of a controversial issue with the goal of working toward resolution, cynically use—indeed, supercharge— that issue to bash the other side.
Columns by Regular Columnists
In addition to being a vegetable farmer, I’m a chef and cooking teacher. …I’ve spent the last twenty years thinking about issues of animal welfare and the ethics of eating meat.
I’ve found myself much more concerned these days with the welfare of other beings, including those with which we don’t associate the same sort of “sentience” we ourselves or our beloved pets possess.
How did accusations of fascism get to fashionable?
The idea of tolerance as a guiding value for society has been criticized in recent years, from different sides.
If you’ve been looking for reasons to take heart in the state of humanity, I offer that there are plenty of them around.
Religion is part of the solution to our divisions, and attempting to maintain a healthy culture without religion is fraught with difficulty.
It looks like it will be quite a contest . . . for who can stoop the lowest.
They generate money, clicks, attention, votes. What’s hard to understand is why so many fall for them, and don’t recognize the damage they do.
In the wake of a shooting at a San Diego synagogue, Randy reflects on the end of Passover and violence against “the other.”
The American people should breathe a sigh of relief, because Mueller’s report confirms that our system still works.
My take on the Mueller Report focuses on not just the report itself, but on the environment into which it’s dropped with a thud. I think understanding that landscape is vital to reckoning with the potential impact, or lack thereof, of the report.
Was it because it was the Easter/Passover week of hope and renewal? Or maybe the pent up pop of the release of the Mueller report?
When it comes to his phrase “American carnage,” Donald Trump hit on something dark and deeply disturbing, but also something important and true.
The belief that we must create a more inclusive nation and world, which treats every person as worthy of the same rights and responsibilities.
This week…we learned that “they” support hate…accept pedophilia…are attacking a life saving program…are responsible for the college admissions scandal…suck up to Big Pharma…are trying to miscarry justice…are a warped version of Christianity…are messing with voting rights…and so much more. What a relief to finally get clarity, enlightenment and wisdom in this time of complex and …
When I read a recent account in The Cut recalling an incident with Joe Biden that made a young woman extremely uncomfortable, I wasn’t at all surprised.
I’m not a Democrat. But for all these reasons above and more, I like Joe Biden, a man and politician worthy of praise.
There is a sometimes subtle but important difference between inciting and informing, persuading and enflaming, convincing and stoking.
This week . . . April may not prove to be the cruelest month. But I’m sure it won’t be for lack of trying.
While the right is brimming with accusations of “the left,” the left tends to point more and more not to ”the right,” but to specific individuals on the right.
American politics has grown increasingly polarized over the past 20 years, degenerating after the 2016 election and in the Trump Presidency into all-out partisan warfare. Observing from the sidelines, a significant portion of the voting public has begun to sense a real danger in this fracturing of partisan politics, and are searching for solutions.
We need to make it acceptable again to see something, somewhere, that promulgates a worldview that’s different than ours, without immediately condemning it.
Molid, my Lyft driver, emanated an electric gratitude for life and all its blessings and his story reminded me of what is possible.
Of the many virtues which we have long recognized in our culture – things like courage, humility, and integrity – an essential one that we’ve missed, maybe the essential one, is balance.
The language that the left and the right use is often very different. At Better Angels, we recognize that a language barrier can lead to serious issues when it comes to communicating effectively, and this certainly hasn’t helped us to extricate ourselves from our present loggerheads between reds and blues.
This week the polarizing technique of accusing the other side of hypocrisy and lying, rather than arguing against the substance of what they want to accomplish seemed to dominate.
When I first joined Better Angels and had to claim my political leaning, it wasn’t easy. I’ve been registered as an independent my whole life, and have voted for Republicans, Democrats, and even third-party candidates. With our Founding Fathers, I’m skeptical of factions, and political parties themselves—especially in our current primary system—seem to be one of the main forces driving our polarization.
This week it seems like a good time, for obvious reasons, to recall some of James Madison’s renowned Federalist #10 warnings about the danger to freedom of factions.
This week seems like a good moment to untangle a common confusion the undercuts the efforts to depolarize our politics: The confusion between civility and neutrality.