Columns by Regular Columnists

Dispatch: To Decrease Polarization More People Need to “Come Out”

Political polarization has seemingly reached a boiling point.  The last few years have given us a congressman shot at a pickup softball game, politicians and figures in the media receiving explosive devices in the mail, college students punched for their political views, death threats galore, and harassment of public people in public places.  What can …

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Dispatch- Employing BA Methods in the University Classroom

By Joaquin Munoz I have been a Better Angels moderator since the fall of 2017, when I trained under Bill Doherty to learn how I could help depolarize America. As a teacher, I was deeply drawn to developing skills of facilitating challenging conversations with people. As I completed the training, and began to facilitate Skills …

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And the Beat Goes On…

This week…same as last week. And the week before. And the week before. The goal of exciting bases, pointing fingers and characterizing the “other” take precedence over finding common ground, resolving differences and finding solutions.

Neros Instead of Heros

This week…in a sobering reminder of the very real costs of the dysfunction of polarization, we bury a few more men, women and children as our ”leaders” go about exciting their bases and pointing fingers rather than resolving differences and finding solutions.

Danse Macabre

This week… same as last week. And the week before. And the week before… Depending on your perspective, comparing the two sides of the “debate” may seem like false equivalency. But to those who feel finger-pointing rancor is inherently destructive it’s good to remember that pissing back even harder is not the best way out of …

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About the Better Angels Social Media Pledge

The social media landscape may be the Wild West of political conversation. But if we have some basic ground rules, and make an effort to bring our best selves to the discussion, it’s possible to raise the level of our discourse, and maybe provide an example that can start to move the needle—just a little bit—in the larger online conversation.

The Damage of Bashing the Other Side

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.

Polarizing Rants

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.

This Week We Learned . . . Not Much

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 …

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Hyperbole and Straw Men

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.