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Steve McIntosh argues, "Our constitutional system was designed with compromise as its cornerstone. But compromise has now become a dirty word."

Polarization is more of a cultural problem than a political one

McIntosh is president of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a Colorado think tank focused on the cultural roots of America's political problems, and author of "Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow Into a Better Version of Itself" (Paragon House).

Vox co-founder Ezra Klein's new book, "Why We're Polarized," has helped refocus the nation's attention on the forces dividing our society. While the debate continues over which of the many contributing factors are most decisive, all commentators agree that hyperpolarization is an existential threat to American democracy.

Our constitutional system was designed with compromise as its cornerstone. But compromise has now become a dirty word. Over the last few decades, the focus of American politics has shifted from a relatively civil contest over issues and policy to a bitter battle over morality and identity.

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