Political polarization is rooted in tribalism. It’s a view that our tribe is right and good and their tribe is wrong and bad. It’s Us Vs. Them. It’s a belief that their tribe wants to harm us in some way so we must fight and win, in a binary, zero-sum outcome. The result of polarization is not win-win, but lose-lose.
The Greenwood Village City Council starts each new Council term by reviewing and passing a resolution affirming how individual Councilmembers agree to treat each other. The intent is to minimize polarization and promote collaboration. The resolution is a Creed to “Shed Light, Not Heat”.
In part, the Creed states “Disagreement and debate is positive and expected. An effective Council is composed of members who are able to agree to disagree and Councilmembers should not take things personally or make things personal.”
I wish all elected officials at all levels of government, would make a similar pledge because we, as citizens, would be better off.