Political Rewind: Tribalism And Polarization In American Politics

Sep 20, 2019

Today on Political Rewind, we sit down with Jackie Gingrich Cushman to discuss her new book, Our Broken America. As former Congressman Newt Gingrich’s daughter, Cushman is no stranger to the complexities of politics. This experience has given her insight to the importance of local politics. 

"I think what is wrong with politics is that we focus too much on national politics and what is happening nationally and too little on what is happening locally,” she said. 

We'll also talk about the dangers of tribalism in America, which is a central theme in Cushman’s book. She is concerned about increasingly polarized political parties, and people refusing to hear the viewpoints of the opposing party.

"Both sides have this preconceived notion of who the "other" is in a political identity standpoint and therefore they don't even care to know about them as a person. They just already know they don't like them," she said. 

Cushman also mentions that political affiliation is becoming a larger role in people’s identity, which may contribute to the political divide. 

"People now identify with parties as though it is their personal identity. It is no longer party identity, it is part of who I am as a person,” she said.  

Above all, Cushman believes in the importance of listening to the other side, as she has demonstrated on her frequent appearances on Political Rewind. She remembers insight that she learned from her father on this topic. 

"Until you actually listen, you don't get to know the people well enough to be able to lead them anywhere," she said.