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Seeking Good Intentions from Your Opponents

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The core of our present predicament isn’t that rabid partisans disagree over political programs—that’s normal and healthy for a vibrant democracy. The toxic aspect of today’s polarization is that the two sides question each other’s fundamental decency, not just their governing agendas.

That problem became clear to me during a recent “Anti-Vax Rally” in our Washington state capitol of Olympia. The impassioned crowd of nearly a thousand not only yelled against the governor’s aggressive mandate to promote inoculation, but also cheered for every loyal believer who pledged to sacrifice a job rather than succumb to a jab. They treated every such expression of fervent commitment as a noble, sacrificial act on behalf of the public good, as if resisting the recommendations of the state’s leading health authorities somehow served the interests of their unsuspecting neighbors…Click here to read the full column at Newsweek.com.

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