The Civic Voice: Finding Unity in Discord

Is the nation falling apart or coming together? Perhaps a bit of both, as I note in the latest Civic Voice newsletter, but unity seems to be winning out over chaos.

Both the covid-19 pandemic and the nation’s public reckoning over police brutality and racism have simultaneously upset public equilibrium, and created new openings for change. As the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has noted, systemic disruptions can lead to new political alignments, as the 2011 nuclear disaster did in Fukushima, Japan.

That appears to be happening in the U.S., as polls show historic levels of agreement across the board that racism and discrimination are “a big problem” in the U.S. The key is to take advantage of the political moment, say leaders like voter engagement activist and erstwhile Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

In a New York Times column adapted from her new book, “Our Time is Now,” Abrams writes that “voting feels inadequate in our darkest moments,” but that, as she learned in her Georgia gubernatorial race “winning doesn’t always mean you get the prize. Sometimes you get progress, and that counts” when you cast your ballot. Read the whole Civic Voice newsletter here.

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