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Congress
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"The dysfunction in Congress mirrors these trends in our culture, its members having circled their wagons and given up even trying to get along," argue the authors.

Can we all just get along? Now it is a question for Congress.

Neal is federal government affairs manager and Peterson is vice president of public affairs at R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.

Rodney King's famous lament sums up our collective feelings and frustrations about society today.

Passions are at a fever pitch. Our heated political debates have led family members to stop speaking to one another, individuals to live only around like-minded people, religious adherents to seek out worship spaces that only attract those whose political views match their own, and even people to only eat at restaurants or purchase items from brands that share their ideology.

The dysfunction in Congress mirrors these trends in our culture, its members having circled their wagons and given up even trying to get along.

Fortunately, Congress' greatest problem is also a solvable one and members don't have to be in leadership to help make it happen.

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Big Picture
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During his State of the Union address this year, President Trump said he would stonewall the legislative process if members of Congress don't play ball, writes Neal.

A year of broken standards for America’s democracy

Neal is federal government affairs manager at R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.

The term "democratic norms" has become a misnomer over the last year. America's governing institutions are undermined by elected officials who dishonor their offices and each other. Standards of behavior and "normal" processes of governance seem to be relics of a simpler time. Our democracy has survived thus far, but the wounds are many.

Free speech and free press have been the White House's two consistent whipping posts. Comments such as "I think it is embarrassing for the country to allow protestors" and constant attacks on press credibility showcase President Trump's disdain for the pillars of democracy. Traditional interactions between the administration and the press are no longer taken for granted. Demeaning, toxic criticisms have become so common that they're being ignored. As the administration revokes critics' press passes and daily briefings are canceled, normalcy in this arena is sorely missed.

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