Track Our Results
Check here to see results and quotes from our United or Divided? Living Room Conversations. As more feedback comes in, we'll find a way to summarize citizen comments in charts and graphs, if we can!
1. What values do you think Americans fundamentally agree on?
"Centrality of the family"
"Freedom of expression / speech -- but drawing the line at hate crime. It’s not okay to yell 'fire' in a crowded theater.
"Equal rights. Many can’t believe it’s still an issue since it’s so core to our constitution. However, we posited that the tension in the capitalist system, which defines winners and losers, means that it is possible to write off some people as being 'less equal' by virtue of having less economic wealth or power. One dollar one vote, instead of one person one vote."
"Freedom of religion"
"Right to bear arms"
2. What is the promise of the United States to its citizens? To the world? Are we as Americans, living up to our promise to each other?
"America’s promise to its people is the ability to pursue our dreams and freedom. This is a place where you have freedom to pursue your dreams. This is where you have freedom to start a business, go to school, marry whoever you want, practice whatever religion you want."
"I'm sad that America used to show the world the way -- American exceptionalism -- but no one wants to be like us anymore."
"We have lost our representative democracy. In an internet era, we don’t need an electoral college or districts."
"I used to live in the UK. The UK’s parliament has a habit to debate and disagree in a civil way. We’ve lost the ability to do that in the US."
"We need less Twitter and more Town Square."
"Religion used to hold America together as a set of commonly held values but it doesn’t anymore. A lot of people have lost religion."
"Any kind of bringing people together has to include atheists; it can’t only be drawn solely from religion but perhaps from as shared and inclusive set of secular humanist values that define what it means to be an American."
"We need to be pragmatic and address resource constraints. Can we make the best choices ex ante (going into policy decisions, based on principled reasoning), even if there are inevitable unintended consequences ex post?"
2. What issues might Left and Right work together on now because we are in fundamental agreement?
"Getting money out of politics -- Gerrymandering, politicians spending too much time running for office rather than representing the people. We should have closer relationships with the people who represent us in office. Passive rather than active participation in politics, and politics as a spectator sport is a result of people not feeling a sense of ownership over the outcomes, and a sense that their voice matters."
"Environmental pollution and preservation -- it is common sense not to pollute our water, since we need it to survive. People who are in favor of guns should be in favor of preserving the outdoors for hunting."
"Prison reform -- If you look at Arnold Kling's dichotomies between oppressor- oppressed, civilization-barbarism, freedom-coercion, we should be able to converge around all three, rather than pit one against the other. In none of these dichotomies is it okay to take away people’s freedom for petty crimes, and to punish people of one race who would not be punished if they were a different race or class."
3. What issue do you most wish we could solve together (even if it seems impossible)?
"Dealing with false information -- Finding more effective ways to separate false information from real information while preserving free expression."
"Education -- it is at the root of a lot of the issues we see today. Access to a high quality education, teaching dissent and critical thinking, teaching conflict resolution, empathy, social-emotional learning."
"The robots are coming - is capitalism even the best system any more? Or is there a need for a guaranteed universal income? What do life and work look like when robots are doing most of the production?"