We envision a nation no longer encumbered by the anger and polarization that prevents us from moving forward on issues that matter.
Polarized thinking and governance is a growing plague among elected officials and citizens that has led to government gridlock and inaction and, increasingly, citizen outrage and violence – right when progress is most needed. No news here. But consider the impact. Real people, citizens and non-citizens are affected. They wait endlessly for needed changes to the status quo that could dramatically alter their health, wealth and happiness. You probably know people in those situations – or, perhaps, are one yourself.
Can we reverse the situation? Increasingly, the public thinks not. Studies show people feel the situation is hopeless. They hunger for bipartisan behavior and real-world results from public servants.
At Common Ground Committee, we believe that hunger can be satisfied and that polarization and anger can be healed. It is possible to bring about a private discourse that builds understanding and public discourse that uncovers common ground through passionate but civil debate where facts are valued and participants listen to each other. But it will take hard work and the help of many to be successful.