In this tumultuous and unhappy political moment, Americans are overlooking a central fact about our country: American Solidarity. We all know how polarized we are, and there are certainly important reasons for our political and cultural conflicts. But let’s explore how much we still have in common, and see if we can renew our shared citizenship by rediscovering the resources of the American character and our civic culture. In this seminar, we will take a close look, through polls, media coverage, and political debates, at some of the issues and ideas currently dividing the country. And then we’ll go deeper, through social science research, more polls, and our own conversations to discover how we remain one people, still, for all of our daunting divisions and serious social problems. Of course, anyone who claims there’s still a vital sense of national solidarity in America must grapple with the grim facts of this political moment, with Charlottesville and social media and all the rallies and protests where we try to silence each other and build seemingly impenetrable walls of resentment, anger and fear. These forces dividing us have been a long time coming. But we have seen tough times before. And I am absolutely convinced this current moment of mutual contempt across today’s social divides is unsustainable. American solidarity is still there, deep down in each one of us, a birthright and an inheritance, waiting to be reawakened.
Terry Moran ’82 is the Senior National Correspondent for ABC News based in Washington, D.C. Previously he was based in London and as the Chief Foreign Correspondent for ABC News, led the program’s distinguished coverage of the major news stories for several years. Before relocating overseas, Moran was an anchor for Nightline, World News, and other ABC News broadcasts. Moran is also a print journalist who has written for many publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Republic Magazine – where he began his career in journalism.