America seems to divided and polarized like never before (though it’s probably not). Everyone listens to their own “news” sources and gets their opinions reinforced by a like-minded circle of contacts. Diatribes are valued over dialog. How did we get here? And how do we get out?
Too many of us have forgotten (or worse, never learned) how to “disagree without being disagreeable” (there’s a book by that title for those interested in a more complete exploration). Too many teachers today, at all levels, seem more interested in teaching their young charges what to think instead of how to think, to turn them into enraged activists rather than engaged citizens.
The “experts” on TV talk over each other rather than engage in honest, productive debate. Politicians care more about fundraising than statesmanship. Major corporations take public stances on laws that it’s obvious no leader within the company has actually read.
Social media is certainly part of the problem. [Read more…]