The American public is divided today, it seems, over almost everything. It doesn’t matter whether we’re discussing economic policy, or foreign policy, or social policy, or immigration, or race or reproductive rights: conservatives will disagree with liberals, Republicans will disagree with Democrats, “red states” will disagree with “blue states.”
Political polarization seems to be more intense, and our resulting politics certainly nastier, than most of us can ever remember. There are many reasons for this: the rise of identity politics, growing religious diversity, growing racial and ethnic diversity, decreasing trust in a usually deadlocked Congress, decreasing trust in the Supreme Court, more of us living increasingly in politically like-minded communities, widespread gerrymandering, lower journalistic standards, the dissemination of untrustworthy political information. And then we have the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter.
South Carolina Women in Leadership believes that cooperation and respectful conversations can help decrease partisan tensions. That the other party isn’t always wrong. That we can disagree on some issues and still respect the other person. That we can find common ground on certain issues. That saving our local newspapers will help readers focus on their communities instead of turning to political partisanship to decide their political choices. That people working together can make The Palmetto State a better place to live and work for all citizens.
It’s time to begin.