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Next Think & Drink asks, ‘Is our country that polarized?’

June 28th, 2016 · Comments

Humanities Washington’s next “Think & Drink” on July 12 at Naked City Brewery, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N., is titled “American Rage: Division and Anger in U.S. Politics,” and asks whether our country really is that polarized.

“This election is like no other.”

Variations of this phrase have almost become a cliché of the 2016 election season. But how else to react to the fights at rallies, filibusters, interruptions of moments of silence, calls by a major candidate for the deportation of millions, and schoolyard Twitter taunts?

We have reached the point where roughly a third of each party views the other as a “threat to the nation’s well-being,” according to the Pew Research Center, and that the political center has drifted to the left and right at an alarming rate. Forty percent of us now even disapprove of people from different political parties marrying.

Part history lesson, part discussion, part brewpub hang-out, this Think and Drink event will ask: Is it really that bad? Has U.S. politics ever been more divided and aggressive? Will it get better or worse? And is our increasingly media-saturated environment, including the rise of social media, helping or hurting our divisions and discourse?

Think & Drink begins at 7 p.m. on July 12, with WSU professors Cornell Clayton, co-editor of “Civility and Democracy in America,” and Travis Ridout, co-author of “The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising.” It will be moderated by KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.

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