We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how polarized we are as a nation. What does that mean exactly and why is it dangerous? 1/14

#RefusePolarization #AmericaUnited

THREAD
(co-authored by @Augustus709 and @Clara_Resists)
Polarization is defined as the “division into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.” Put simply, polarization is “us vs. them.” 2/14
We are currently operating in a highly polarized political environment. We perceive a divide between members of different political parties or groups. We don’t see any common ground with the “other side.” Instead, we see an enemy who must be conquered. 3/14
Historically speaking, polarization is the first step in the process of dehumanization, where both sides dehumanize the other. The middle is destroyed. Compromise becomes impossible. Polarized communities become easy targets for influence operations. 4/14
Polarization emphasizes and exaggerates differences. Unifying values are forgotten. In a polarized state, we're in fight or flight mode, emotionally charged. We cannot think rationally and calmly. We are primed to react aggressively to our perceived enemy. 5/14
In this environment, is it any wonder we cannot build consensus and get things done? Polarization makes democracy dysfunctional. 6/14
Particularly as we approach midterms, beware of attempts to demonize "the other side," whether liberal or conservative, by politicians, on Twitter, & in the media. It is a deliberate attempt to manipulate you & is the first step in dehumanizing an entire group of people. 7/14
Hold onto your values, but don't be talked into seeing those with different values as monsters. We all want to live in peace and free from tyranny. 8/14
Polarizing messages and tweets get people fired up and motivated. They also make people susceptible to disinformation and exacerbate the divide in our country. How do we mobilize in a way that doesn't polarize us and make our community vulnerable? 9/14
We can mobilize and motivate by appealing to our shared values and beliefs, by appealing to what we're fighting for rather than demonizing who we're fighting against. Let us listen to and emulate the messaging from political leaders like Beto O'Rourke and Andrew Gillum. 10/14
They seek to inspire and unite rather than fear-monger and divide. And their approach seems to be working as they are generating enthusiasm among voters and gaining widespread support. 11/14
We need to make refusing polarization a priority.
All of us together.

Are you in?

12/14
For an example of a Resistance message that is non-polarizing but effective and inspiring, see @DemWrite’s tweet below. 13/14
Some additional reading (This article is from 2010 but highly relevant to where we are today as a nation): “Why Polarization is So Dangerous.”

END

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