The Right Place for an Argument

June 18, 2018  • Institute Staff

In an era of deep divisions, many Americans yearn to heal schisms, repair the nation’s social fabric, and restore civility to public discourse. These efforts are admirable. Done wrong, however, they have the potential to compound political problems rather than ameliorate them. That’s why the Institute’s Program on Citizenship and American Identity recently launched the Better Arguments Project, which helps Americans engage with one another more productively across their differences—because civic life doesn’t need fewer arguments; it needs better ones. Better arguments allow people to connect across political, cultural, and economic divides. They do so not by papering over those divides but by teaching Americans how to have better, more informed, intelligent, compassionate arguments that are honest about power. The Better Arguments Project, in partnership with The Allstate Corporation and the education nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, has already been selected as a featured initiative of Erase the Hate, a new social-impact campaign by NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.