“Too many of our young people think this is the only way we do politics. They assume this is normal in our country because it’s the way it’s been over the past 10 years.”
Kicking off a Colorado convening in support of his NGA Chair’s Initiative: Disagree Better, Utah Governor Spencer Cox underscored why college and university campuses are a focus of the project’s efforts.
Research shows that outreach to young people is one of the most effective depolarization strategies, Governor Cox explained. Cultivating “intellectual flexibility, humility, curiosity, empathy and open mindedness” in college students before their views become “hardened” is essential in helping upcoming generations bridge the partisan divide.
Yet, too often, the prevalence of cancel culture in higher education produces an atmosphere that stifles debate.
“We’ve come to recognize that we can’t disagree better if there’s an environment that scares people away from political discourse entirely,” Governor Cox shared. “In other words, toxic conflict is bad, but so is the absence of conflict altogether.”
To explore strategies to help colleges Disagree Better, Governor Cox welcomed John Tomasi, president…