The Pynx: Can we find common ground?

Johsua Schuetz
Staff Writer

The concept of “finding common ground” is both lauded and decidedly uncommon, and the former is increasingly because of the latter.

Much ado is made about the impossibility of compromise within Congress the American political scene at large. A common theme is that elites are polarized and devoid of “common sense” wisdom characteristic of the majority of Americans. 

There’s plenty of truth in this. Yes, Washington insiders are disconnected from the majority, which is to be expected since their backgrounds (disproportionately Ivy League educated and employed in the legal field) are incongruent with the backgrounds of most Americans.

Yet, in many ways, the partisanship demonstrated in Congress is simply a reflection of America as a whole. More Americans find the party with which they don’t identify as odious not only to them, but to the future of the nation. 

Americans increasingly hold political positions diametrically opposed to those of their fellow citizens. 

Those divides, also incorporating racial and geographic divides, as well as the more familiar divisions of education and income, are played out in Congress. The hyper-partisanship in the Capitol simply reflects the divisions in American society. 

If we want to fix American politics, we need to start by not despising each other. That means dialogue.

It also means an end to the name-calling and wanton ad hominem attacks deployed so frequently in our political discourse.

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