Americans are all too familiar with the impact of toxic polarization in settings from home to work to Congress. Whether it’s tense conversations at the dinner table or gridlock on Capitol Hill, the political divide is hard to escape.
But experts say the consequences of political acrimony don’t stop at our shores; there are global implications, too – and they affect America’s national security, international leadership – even the future of our democracy.
At a Disagree Better convening in New Hampshire, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates joined NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox in a fireside chat to explore the geopolitical angle of toxic polarization in America.
Drawing on his experience serving eight presidents – including serving as Secretary of Defense under both the Bush and Obama administrations – Gates explained how partisan politics impacts America’s global leadership.
“We have always had polarized politics in this country. The question is, what’s different? I think the key is the fact that the polarization has led to paralysis.”
“We have not had a Defense Appropriations Bill passed by the Congress before the start of the fiscal year since 2010,” Gates continued….