This is an interesting article suggesting that we can get out of the ideological polarization that is destroying our country. Research shows that if given enough information people will form their positions inline with the evidence. Therefore, the solution is to solve the ignorance problem. As Shenkman shows this is a difficult task. But even more of an obstacle beyond just ignorance is that what they do know is false. Fox News and other media sources have been filling people with nonsense for years, so that now they aren’t even open to considering evidence that is contrary to what they already believe.
So, how do we solve this ignorance problem? Shenkman offers the Scandinavian model, but has doubts that it can work here. He lists some attempts to create a civic-minded culture, but these have all failed. Now what? He offers no other possible solutions and leaves readers hanging as if he had given up on achieving any meaningful change.
Shenkman’s ambivalence is understandable, but giving up all hope is not an option. We are facing incredible challenges, such as climate change, and we need an educated, rational population that will elect real leaders whose actions and beliefs are grounded in reason and evidence not ideology.