When it comes to politics, listen first in 2018

Mon, 2018-01-01

<p>Pearce Godwin | The Hill&nbsp;</p><p>The past year was a tough one for conversations.</p><p>Following a deeply polarizing presidential election, in 2017 we’ve experienced a year of serial controversy, often hinging on identity fault lines.</p><p>Among other flashpoints, we saw marches escalate to murder in Charlottesville as enduring elements of hate and darkness were thrust into August light. A healthy and vibrant society cannot survive amidst such attacks on the humanity of our fellow Americans. It feels like divisions are deepening and rancor is rising with no relief in sight.</p><p>According to the latest Civility in America survey, 75 percent of Americans now believe the lack of civility has reached a crisis level.</p><p>Passionate disagreement and debate over issues is a critical tenet of effective democracy. Our individual positions are informed by life experiences, worldviews, values and priorities. Thus, broad agreement across complex issues is impossible and unnecessary.</p>