A House Divided
What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?
National Issues Forums Institute
Every American is affected by the divisions and outrage that prevent us from making progress on urgent problems. This issue guide is designed to help people deliberate together about how we should approach the issue. These are difficult questions, and there are no easy answers:
- Should we require more accurate, respectful discussion in the media and online, or would that stifle free speech?
- Should we reform politics and government to encourage compromise, or will that mean giving up on the changes we really need and want?
- Should local communities set policies in areas like health care and the environment, or would that risk the progress we've made and make further progress nearly impossible?
- Should we crack down on money in politics, or will people just find new ways to evade the rules?
This issue guide presents three options for deliberation about difficult problems for which there are no perfect solutions. Each option offers advantages as well as risks. And each reflects different ways of understanding what is at stake, forcing us to think about what matters most to us. The research involved in developing this guide included interviews and conversations with Americans from all walks of life, as well as surveys of nonpartisan public opinion research, subject-matter scans, and reviews of initial drafts by people with direct experience with the subject.