Perspectives: Coronavirus, Police Reform and US Polarization

Headline Roundup June 24th, 2020

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, racial tension, violence and widespread calls for police reform have recently highlighted polarization in the United States. Some voices have investigated the intersection of such polarization with the criminal justice system, as well as public health, especially as it relates to mask-wearing during the pandemic.

Voices on all sides addressed the apparent severity of present-day polarization and what should be or is being done about it. Some left-rated voices expressed skepticism that the country's social fabric could withstand the current tension much longer; some right-rated voices pointed to areas where Americans are in agreement, particularly on police reform. To many, political polarization in the U.S. may feel as though it's intensifying — one recent study from Penn State supports that notion.

Perspectives: Coronavirus, Police Reform and US Polarization

From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Over the pandemic-filled last four months, one thing’s become clear: Face masks can slow the spread of coronavirus and help to flatten the curve. The only issue? Mask-wearing is starting to look like a giant collective action problem — and many Americans are refusing to cooperate.

For months, scientists and doctors waffled about the usefulness of masks. The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, repeatedly told Americans not to buy or wear them if they had no COVID-19 symptoms; in March, Anthony Fauci, one of the top White House advisors...

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From the Center
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OPINION

An American ex-pat friend called the other day to lament the turn of events in the United States. The division, racism and riots she saw play out on her Switzerland television left her feeling that America is becoming ever polarized and not the same home she left 10 years ago.

That’s a feeling a lot of Americans are experiencing now, and it’s certainly understandable given the frightening and tragic scenes across the country aired on replay.

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From the Right
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OPINION

Suppose Congress wanted to seize the moment and make real progress on police reform. What would the two chambers do?

They would begin by taking to heart the words of Abraham Lincoln, spoken at Ottawa, Ill., during an epic 1858 debate with Stephen Douglas: “In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed.”

Today,...

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