Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): Social Media Authoritarianism Threatens Democracy

Senator Susan Collins, Republican from Maine: "We live in a time of such great disunity as the bitter fight over this (Kavanaugh) nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will... Continue Reading →

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Obedience to Political Party Narratives Is Now Required By Right and Left, As the US Embraces Authoritarianism

I lived in authoritarian regimes where there was lack of due process and almost tribal presumptions of guilt and innocence. Both the right and the left (and this medium) are pushing the US in an authoritarian direction. "Please resist the temptation to follow hyper-partisan instincts in the Kavanaugh-Ford case," I wrote on Facebook, along with... Continue Reading →

Another Chance for Community Organizing in 2018 and 2020

Community organizer job opportunities are growing. Start-ups like Swing Left are seeking to create a national grassroots network of more than 300,000 volunteers to help take back the US House of Representatives by targeting the 78 most competitive races, enough to flip party control and change the country's political agenda. One of the biggest disappointments of... Continue Reading →

How Seriously To Take US Political Divisions?

I've been surprised that some of my most vociferous "conservative" sparring partners online now admit that they reluctantly voted for Donald Trump or didn't vote for him at all in 2016. Rather, they voted against Hillary Clinton, desperate to "turn the page" from the too long-running Clinton soap-opera. Some would have voted for Joe Biden... Continue Reading →

Social Media Is Hurting Democracy

Liberals and conservatives have one thing in common: zero interest in learning how and what those they disagree with actually think. Click. "Talking past each other is deeply unhealthy for our entire political system. A functioning democracy requires that citizens make informed choices — which voters can’t do if their information sources are ideologically monochromatic.... Continue Reading →

Descent into Trolling

FB page of a "conservative friend" today has numerous posts from his network ridiculing citizens exercising their constitutional rights as if they have no legitimate reason to protest, defending executive orders that courts have declared illegal, and trading barbs over which political ideology is a mental disorder. His compatriots declare taxation is theft and the... Continue Reading →

America is Downgraded to ‘Flawed Democracy’

"The Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded the United States to a 'flawed democracy,' reflecting record levels of political polarization and a widespread lack of confidence in government. But things may not be as bleak as they appear...Some observers see hope for the future in local, community-oriented efforts to promote civic engagement and a sense of unity. " http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2017/0126/US-no-longer-a-full-democracy-in-2016-Democracy-Index-Where-do-we-go-from-here

Americans Must Learn to Argue Better, Serve Together

Bringing together members of Red and Blue (political) tribes for face-to-face conversations, often over a meal, is one way to repair America's social fabric and pull people out of social media echo chambers. That's the mission of Better Angels, a non-profit. With the rising climate of contempt in America, bridge-building and reconciliation activities seem increasingly necessary. David Brooks, NYT... Continue Reading →

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