Could You Save American Democracy? Stanford Researchers Lead 'Strengthening Democracy Challenge'

The public has a new opportunity to test their hypotheses about how to strengthen U.S. democracy — all while potentially winning thousands of dollars. Stanford University and collaborators are inviting submissions to the crowdsourced Strengthening Democracy Challenge . Submissions must be...
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Democrats and Republicans Actually Agree on Many Policing Reforms

While the subject of U.S. policing remained contentious in the wake of George Floyd's death, surveys conducted this past summer showed many areas of overlap in terms of police reform. There is sometimes a faulty perception that Democrats support many kinds of deep policy changes, while...
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Republicans and Democrats Both Support Social Security — and Even Agree on Some Reforms

Social Security is sometimes described as the “third rail of American politics.” It got this name in the 1980s because it was so popular among both Republicans and Democrats that if any politician dared to “touch” Social Security and cut it substantially, the politician’s career would...
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Congress’s Most Famous Bipartisan Roadtrip: The Friendship of Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd

Divisions in Washington, D.C. can seem bitter, so it can be helpful to remember more positive bipartisan experiences that began only a few years ago and continued afterward. A two-day road trip made by two Texas congressmen from different political parties from San Antonio to Washington,...
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How Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” Can Help Us Find Common Ground

Imagine that the economy has imploded and you have just been let go from your job. After months of tirelessly searching for a new job, your savings have been depleted and you are forced to foreclose on your home. As you sit, stressfully contemplating your plans for the future, what are...
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Trying to Navigate a Polarized World? This Ancient Philosophy Can Help

Blocks from a Hard Rock Cafe and nestled between graffitied buildings, the ruins of the Stoa Poikile sit, crumbling and nearly overtaken by greenery. Millennia before American brands dotted the streets of Athens, these ruins had served as the lecture hall for Zeno of Citium , the founder...
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Why do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories? What the Leading Research Says

From the Center This viewpoint is from a writer rated Center. The coronavirus pandemic led to the emergence of conspiracy theories about the origins and nature of the new virus. In part reflecting intense political polarization in the United States, conspiracy groups like QAnon have risen...
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More than Memorization: A New Civics Education Vision May Reduce Polarization

In the United States today, politics seems to be less about governing and more about finding the best way to demean the other side. The result: a partisan divide and an epidemic of affective polarization. Affective polarization is defined as “the extent to which citizens feel more...
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Surveys Show Majority of Republicans Believe Government Must Tackle Student Loan Debt

Many Americans see the benefits of a college degree, such as opportunities for well-paying jobs. Yet over the years, college costs have become extremely high, both from private and public colleges . This increase has led to more and more debt -- a total of about $1.6 trillion , with the...
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How You Can Depolarize Yourself and America: The Best 7 Ideas from Early 2021

From the Center This viewpoint is from a writer rated Center. How can I depolarize myself? How can I depolarize others in my network? I searched across the web for thought leaders who can help answer these questions. The links below are all from early 2021. Some links are nearly entirely...
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It’s Not Just Them: Research Suggests Irrational Biases Across the Political Spectrum

In our increasingly polarized age, it has become commonplace to attribute our political opponents’ beliefs to their irrationality. Advancements in psychology seem to validate this view: we are prone to confirmation bias, engage in motivated reasoning, and become self-insulated in social...
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Surveys Show Republican Voters Actually Support Increasing the Minimum Wage, Just Not to $15/Hour

U.S. Congress will consider a $15 minimum wage for the second time soon. Joe Biden and most congressional Democrats want to more than double the minimum hourly wage from its current level of $7.25. Although Democrats have this policy goal, survey data (see below) show that the majority of...
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How a Famous Democratic Socialist and Christian Conservative Forged a Deep Friendship

Cornel West and Robert P. George are unlikely friends, but they are so close they call each other “brother” and regularly talk about friendship and faith across political differences. West, a Democratic Socialist, public intellectual and self-described “revolutionary Christian,” and...
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Surveys Say Republicans and Democrats Both Support International Cooperation, Alliances

In terms of foreign policy, there are misleading stereotypes of Democrats and Republicans. Supposedly, Democrats are strongly supportive of international cooperation, while Republicans are nationalistic, wanting to focus on America before other countries. Yet surveys of Republicans...
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