Columbia prof: “dangerous sign: the demonization of opponents”
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No need to be alarmist; I don’t believe we are headed for civil war.
But I do believe things are currently on their way to getting worse before they get better. And they are already violent. People are today being shot over ideological intolerance. And killed. If we want to turn this ship before it worsens, the time is now to recognize we have a problem, properly diagnose and fix it.
Otherwise, by way of a taste of what could come, in the sixteen months starting January 1969 there were 4,332 bombings in the US. It can get much worse.
NPR ran a piece today addressing this. “Another ‘Civil War’? Pessimism About Political Violence Deepens In A Divided Nation.” In it, Barnard College at Columbia University political science professor Dr. Sheri Berman observes,
“I already think we’ve seen some pretty dangerous signs, the most important of which is the demonization of opponents…. The second step is seeing people as unable to be dealt with or compromised with, and that can fairly easily slip into more extreme kinds of behavior.“
“Prior to some of these conflicts that erupted you see a drop in the capacity to deal with one another, and to focus on one sort of prevailing identity …. That’s something we see here in the U.S. as we look at some of the partisan political divisions.”
The problem is not that we disagree. We should disagree. The problem is how we disagree. If we want to recruit skeptics to our point of view, we need to persuade, not divide. Learn why and how here.
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