Our Spirituality Has Implications for Healing Our Democracy
by Gillian Gonda
The Fetzer Institute's Study of Spirituality in the United States revealed that the more a person's spirituality is a part of their life, the more they may exhibit prosocial behaviors, such as civic engagement and community involvement. This blog post reports on additional scholarship expanding upon the study's findings.
Invigorating Communication between Representatives and Constituents
by Lucas Hackett-Provenzano
Spiritual practices for the people to use to express their views and for politicians to be better listeners, plus an exercise for small groups to do together.
Voting as a Spiritual Practice
by Mary Ann Brussat
Voting can connect you with your true self, your community, and the One.
What We Learned from Our Survey
by Hannah Zuckerberg
A look at people's hopes, fears, needs, and ideas about democracy.
Are We Monsters?
by Neal Gabler
Monster films have always dealt with anxieties. Today, the danger is us.
The Case Against Democracy
by Caleb Crain
Is fairness enough to drive democratic procedures? From Plato's time forward, thinkers have argued that it’s entirely justifiable to limit the political power that the irrational, the ignorant, and the incompetent have over others.
Civic Engagement : Why Cultural Institutions Must Lead the Way
by Deborah Cullinan
Great and abiding societal movements are the result of cultural shift. So arts and culture organizations need to nurture a progression of shared values, beliefs, and convictions that successfully and forever change hearts and minds.
The Collapse of American Identity
by Robert P. Jones
British writer G.K. Chesterton argued that what made the American experiment in democracy profound was that it aspired to create “a home out of vagabonds and a nation out of exiles” united by voluntary assent to commonly held political beliefs. Survey data shows troubling evidence, though, of the unraveling of that identity.
Democracies End When They Are Too Democratic
by Andrew Sullivan
America has never been so ripe for tyranny as since the 2016 election campaign. A free democratic society, philosophy and history show, is inherently unstable.
Democracy: 5 Ways to Make It More Meaningful
by Jon Mertz
Contribute to your community. Consider your horizon. Do the simple things. Do the hard things. Exhibit gratitude and civility. These steps help make democracy meaningful now.
Democracy and Its Exclusions: Political Identity and the Challenge of Secularism
by Charles Taylor
Modern democracy rests on the premise that citizen rights should apply to the whole population. But democracies have to be continually vigilant against the thrust towards exclusion.
by Roosevelt Montas
Colleges are emerging as sites of resistance to a hostile U.S. administration. But their combative posture will prove hollow unless academe also turns inward and examines the degree to which it has been complicit in the rise of this crisis.
Dogs Will Fix Our Broken Democracy
by Frank Bruni
It's uncanny how mutual courtesy and reciprocal generosity abound when people meet and greet while out walking their dog(s).
Don't Let Our Democracy Collapse
by Richard L. Hasen
As bad as things are, the health of our electoral process is likely to deteriorate further. In this writer's opinion, we need to support organizations that overcome partisanship.
Has America Gone Complacent?
by Robert J. Samuelson
Americans increasingly value security and stability. But what satisfies people as individuals might weaken the country's ability to regenerate itself.
The Hidden Costs of "National Security"
by William D. Hartung
The true costs of America's wars past, present, and future — and of the funding that is the lifeblood of the national security state — is grisly. One analysis estimates that the Pentagon could reduce its projected spending by one trillion dollars over the next decade if Washington reined in its interventionary instincts.
How the System Got Broken, and Why It Can't Be Fixed
by Neal Gabler
Checks and balances worked remarkably well for the U.S. government for 250 years. But now the prognosis is not good, because the country's founders believed that extremism and overweening self-interest could always be quarantined — and they were wrong.
Local Civic Culture
by Davia S. Cox and Laura A. Reese
Research out of Michigan State University — focused on Ottawa, Canada's capital — asks whether there is a single or consistent local perspective on civic culture among elites (government officials, business leaders) and citizens.
Checking Democracy's Pulse
by Claire Cain Miller and Kevin Quealy
A new survey of more than a thousand political scientists shows that the health of American democracy has worsened for the first time in recent history. Respondents gave the worst grades to norms of civil discourse on both sides.
Our World Outsmarts Us
by Robert Burton
Our human minds are severely under-engineered. Might our neurological handicaps offer an insight into the seeming association between anger, extremism and a widespread blatant disregard for solid facts and real expertise?
The New York Times Makes Nice With the Right
by Neal Gabler
The mainstream, slightly left-of-center media, seem eager to make common cause with the less abusive elements of the right, almost as a way of making amends. In the process, they may be normalizing the very things that made the 2016 election results possible.
The Next Culture War
by David Brooks
More and more Christians feel estranged from mainstream culture. But they could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society, offering us examples selfless service and reminding us of what dignifies and what demeans.
Political Identity and the Problem of Democratic Exclusion
by Charles Taylor
Democracy is know for its philosophy of inclusion. But for the people to be sovereign, they need to form an entity and have a personality — leading to a thrust towards excluding those whose votes and voices vary from the majority.
Report Probes Social Media's Threat to Democracy
by David Jones
A new report suggests that social media may be putting the ideals of democracy in jeopardy. People need to be aware of these dangers, which range from facilitating hyper-partisanship to conflating popularity with legitimacy.
A (Spiritual) Revolution on the Way?
by Matthew Fox
A spiritually driven revolution in economics, politics, and ecology is needed, this theologian believes, as an antidote to the chaos, fear, and anger of the reptilian brain that allow the rise of fascism.
A Tale of Two Countries
by Neal Gabler
Two Americas are now engaged in a civil war: a vigorous and vehement minority, full of grievance and self-righteous rage, most of them clustered in the South and rural America; and a less vigorous, less vehement majority, mainly on the coasts and in cities and suburbs.
Ten Ways to Love Your Enemy
by Kristin Ritzau
These suggestions range from self-examaination to prayer to stopping toxic internal dialogues.
Twenty Lessons on Fighting Tyranny from the Twentieth Century
by Timothy Snyder
We can learn from the experience of Europeans who watched countries fall to fascism. Believing in truth, supporting good causes, and being as courageous as we can are some of the ways we can fight tyranny, adapting lessons learned from the previous century.
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
by Alexis C. Madrigal
The dominant social network had a major impact on the information and persuasion environment of the 2016 U.S. election. Why couldn't we see that the very roots of the electoral system were being destabilized?
What Is America To Me?
by Margaret Renkl
The challenge of teaching refugees learning English is immense, and this political climate only adds to the complexity of the task. English is a problematic language, but these students are working hard to learn it — and working harder still to belong.
Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?
by multiple authors
Everything will become intelligent; soon we will not only have smart phones, but also smart homes, smart factories and smart cities. Society is at a crossroads, which promises great opportunities, but also considerable risks.