How to End the Divisiveness in American Politics

Mark Goulston
3 min readMay 28, 2023

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The United States is more divided than ever before. The two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, have become increasingly polarized, and there is a growing distrust and animosity between them. This divisiveness is making it difficult to address the many challenges facing the country, and it is threatening our democracy.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the divisiveness in American politics. One factor is the rise of social media. Social media platforms have made it easier for people to self-segregate into echo chambers, where they are only exposed to information that confirms their existing beliefs. This has made it more difficult for people to understand and empathize with those who have different views.

Another factor is the decline of trust in traditional institutions. People are increasingly distrustful of the government, the media, and other institutions that they once relied on for information and guidance. This distrust has made it more difficult for people to find common ground and work together to solve problems.

The divisiveness in American politics is a serious problem, but it is solvable. There are a number of things that can be done to address this problem.

One thing that can be done is to promote civic education. Civic education can help people understand the importance of compromise and working together to solve problems. It can also help people develop the skills they need to participate in civil discourse.

Another thing that can be done is to reform the media. The media plays a vital role in informing the public and holding elected officials accountable. However, the media is also often biased and sensationalized. This can make it difficult for people to get accurate information and make informed decisions. Reforming the media can help to ensure that the public is better informed and that the media is more responsible in its reporting.

Finally, it is important for individuals to take responsibility for reducing the divisiveness in American politics. We can all do our part to be more understanding and respectful of those who have different views. We can also try to find common ground and work together to solve problems.

The divisiveness in American politics is a serious problem, but it is not insurmountable. By working together, we can make a difference and create a more united country.

In addition to the above, here are some other specific things that can be done to reduce political divisiveness:

  • Support organizations that promote civic engagement and dialogue. There are many organizations that are working to promote civic engagement and dialogue between people of different political beliefs. These organizations can provide a space for people to come together and learn from each other.
  • Volunteer for campaigns or causes that you believe in. When you volunteer for a campaign or cause, you are not only helping to make a difference, but you are also meeting other people who share your values. This can help to break down barriers and build relationships between people from different political backgrounds.
  • Talk to your friends and family about politics. It can be tempting to avoid talking about politics with people who have different beliefs than you. However, it is important to have these conversations. By talking to people who have different views, you can learn more about their perspective and why they believe what they do. This can help you to understand their point of view and to find common ground.
  • Be respectful and curious towards people who have different political beliefs than you. It is important to remember that people who have different political beliefs are not your enemies. They are simply people who have different ideas about how to solve the problems facing our country. Be respectful of and curious about their beliefs, even if you disagree with them. You might discover a truth that my good and deeply missed friend Larry King told me, “You can’t be curious and furious at the same time.”

By taking these steps, we can all help to reduce political divisiveness and make our country a more united place.

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Mark Goulston

Dr. Goulston is the world's #1 listening coach and author of "Just Listen" which became the top book on listening in the world