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Political polarization has become a defining feature of modern American life. Research surrounding the 2020 election from Pew Research Center demonstrated that – a month before the election, roughly eight-in-ten registered voters in both [left and right] camps said their differences with the other side were about core American values, and roughly nine-in-ten worried that a victory by their opponents would lead to ‘lasting harm’ to the United States.

In this episode of Heterodox Out Loud, we meet Erec Smith, Associate Professor of Rhetoric at York College of Pennsylvania, who is trying to heal America’s deep divisions through, well of course, Rhetoric and the understanding of Discourse. His piece is called, “A Rhetoric of Common Values.

To engage deeper with Smith’s ideas, check out our related posts “Don’t Dismiss Debate” by Meg Mott, “Reducing Political Polarization Through Campus Dialogues,” by Matt Burgess and Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, and “Both Sides Now: From Debate to Dialogue” by Deb Mashek and Judith Shapiro.

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This episode was hosted by Zach Rausch. The artwork was inspired by Smith’s piece and was created by Lexi Polokoff. You can follow her on Instagram @lexipolokoffart.