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The partisan divide is getting worse

How bad is the partisan division in this country?

Roughly half or more Republicans and Democrats believe members of the other party are more "closed-minded" and "unpatriotic" than other Americans, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans see others as unpatriotic, while only 23 percent of Democrats feel that way.

The survey, which was conducted in early September and before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to pursue an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, revealed a growing animosity that has festered since Pew last conducted a similar survey three years ago.

Compared to the 2016 survey, the share of partisan Americans who believe the other side is closed-minded or immoral has spiked, with double-digit increases in the percentage of Republicans who believed Democrats were "more closed-minded" and Democrats who said Republicans were "more immoral" than other Americans.

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Suhas Subramanyam and Rodney Willett

Reform-first candidates Suhas Subramanyam (left) and Rodney Willett are running in safely Democratic Virginia House districts.

Bloc of Virginia candidates pushing democracy reform as a blue wave generator

With elections for every seat in Virginia's Legislature less than four weeks away, a coalition of progressive candidates is hoping to sway voters with the promise to push democracy reform.

In a letter being sent Thursday to every member of the General Assembly, 32 Democrats vying in November — about half with a realistic hope of winning — underscored their commitment to advancing an array of campaign finance and voting rights proposals if they get elected.

"We write to you today to put Richmond on notice. We are determined to reform the broken system and spark a restoration of confidence should we be granted the honor of serving our respective districts," they wrote.

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NoDerog/Getty Images

Not news to many: Our polarized view of media brands is only intensifying

Nike has Colin Kaepernick. Smith & Wesson has guns. Trump Hotels has, well, President Trump.

Not surprisingly, each of these companies is among the most politically polarizing brands of the moment. But the best way to make such a list, it turns out, is to be in the news business.

Of the 15 most polarizing brands of 2019, the dozen not mentioned above are from a single industry — the mainstream media — according to a recent survey by Morning Consult, a brand development and news company. The rankings were determined by measuring the difference in favorability of more than 3,700 brands among self-identified Republicans and Democrats.

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Katie Fahey

Katie Fahey and Michigan volunteers in 2018.

Making government more responsive is a task for Americans of all stripes

Fahey, who organized the grassroots movement that ended Michigan's politicized gerrymandering, is now executive director of The People, which is forming statewide citizen networks to promote government accountability. She will be interviewing another democracy reformer each month for our Opinion section.

Everyday people are the backbone of the democracy reform movement. As executive director of The People, a new national effort to find common ground and make non-partisan changes to fix our broken democracy, I am most inspired by those who volunteer their time and energy to make sure their government hears not just their voices, but their neighbors' voices, too.

In the coming months, I have the opportunity to introduce you to some of the men and women from across the country whose powerful stories of civic engagement are bettering their communities and repairing America's torn social fabric. Before we kick off this series, I wanted to take a moment to share with you my own journey working toward democracy reform.

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