in an article in Psychology Today, Peter Coleman (along with many others) observes that US citizens are "showing two concerning patterns." One is that attitudes across multiple issues are more aligned with one particular political "camp," and that citizens are feeling much more contempt for the other side than they have in years. Quoting Matthew Gentzkow, Coleman's article asserts "We don't just disagree politely...We belive that those on the other side are trying to destroy America, and that we should spare nothing in trying to stop them." As long as this trend cntinues, we cannot succeed as a country, Coleman says.
So are we doomed? Coleman suggests, just as we are doing with the MBI project, that citizens must take responsibility for reversing these trends into our own hands. Clearly, our leadership isn't (perhaps can't) do this-- but he suggests that if "each of us can take some responsibility for our own part in the divisions and make some small adjustments in our behavior, the effects can trickle up and eventually force our leaders to work together.
Coleman then briefly discusses things to keep in mind while trying to do this. Among them: feeling anxious and emotional is okay; the other side likely has a valid point that we should consider; initial conditions matter, and as he (and we) so often say: "it's complicated!" (Actually we'd say it's complex, but Coleman isn't making such distinctions here.) This is a very short, readable article for those wanting to help bridge the Red-Blue Divide.