Why Facebook Makes Americans Feel Politically Polarized

By Equating Political and Social Identities, the Platform Makes Our Divides Feel Unbridgeable

It’s not hard to understand why moderate opinions are absent from the ranks of cable television talking heads, satellite radio hosts, and newspaper opinion editorialists. Moderation doesn’t sell. Americans have short attention spans, and conflict is more interesting than cooperation. Inciting anger means increasing profits.

But why aren’t moderate viewpoints more prominent among the forms of mass communication to which the largely moderate public contributes—namely social media sites like Facebook? And is there anything that can be done to make such platforms more inviting places for the exchange of less …

Why Extreme Moderation Is the Vital Alternative to Political Polarization

Theorist Tzvetan Todorov's Passionate Pluralism Is More Relevant Now Than Ever

Last month, the Bulgarian-French intellectual Tzvetan Todorov died. A scholar on the history of thought, his writings influenced fields as disparate as anthropology, literary criticism, and history. His death was, …

Are Politics Making Americans Boring?

The World’s Most Diverse, Innovative, and Surprising Nation Is in Danger of Becoming Entirely Predictable

America—arguably the world’s most diverse, innovative, and surprising nation—is becoming a lot more predictable. And boring.

According to the most recent Pew Research Poll on political polarization, Americans are becoming more …

Call Off the Silly Hunt For ‘Centrism’

The American Political Center Is Dead—Not That It Ever Lived

As Washington contemplates intervention in Syria, pundits will undoubtedly seize on the high-minded debate, one that is not following predictable partisan lines, as a model to emulate across a range …

Race Is Easy. Ideology Is Hard.

Jonathan Haidt, Winner of the Third Annual Zócalo Book Prize, Explains Why Good People Demonize One Another

The Third Annual Zócalo Public Square Book Prize was made possible by the generous support of Southern California Gas Company.

“It’s a hell of a challenge to create a cohesive community …

We Love Diversity, If It’s Only Skin-Deep

Our Communities Are Getting More Diverse in Color, Less Diverse In Anything Else

At a conference on cities and political diversity in Pittsburgh a few years ago, a gentleman from Philadelphia was proudly ticking down the demographic menu offered in his big-city community. …