Community colleges hold keys to restoring a divided America

April 7, 2017

by Constance M. Caroll & James T. Harris III

It is no secret that America’s sense of common community has been fraying for years. The divisive 2016 election, with a descent into incivility and unseemliness unseen in American politics for decades, has only intensified this trend. A recent Pew poll found that 86 percent of Americans believe our country to be more politically divided than in the past — almost double the number who felt that way in 2009.

Americans understand that extreme partisanship — the demonization of those we oppose and the rising incivility it has spawned — is destructive to our democracy. Eighty percent of Americans believed the 2016 election to be uncivil even as 97 percent said civility was important in politics. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, we must either get ready for an inevitable collapse of our democracy or work collectively and quickly to rebuild the foundations of civility our common of American community is built upon...

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