Episode 1: Defining Division

In the premiere episode of “True Progress: Polarization,” we delve into one of the biggest issues dividing Americans and the world today: polarization. Our experts try to define what polarization is and how we can best understand its impact.

"The most ideological segments of our population, those most actively involved in politics, have the weakest and least accurate understanding of their political opponents.”
Dan Vallone

“This problem is largely one of the harsh judgment of people's characters and demonization.”
Illana Redstone

“... pluralism and liberty are part of that American narrative, and that also connects to the American dream.”
Clay Routledge

Interviewed Experts

Ben Klutsey

Director of Academic Outreach and Director of the Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange, Mercatus Center

Ilana Redstone

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois; Co-Director, Mill Institute, University of Austin

Clay Routledge

Vice President of Research and Director of the Human Flourishing Lab, Archbridge Institute

Dan Vallone

Director, More in Common, USA

Tony Woodlief

Senior Executive Vice President, State Policy Network; Author of "I, Citizen: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Self-Governance"

About the Series

True Progress is a podcast documentary dedicated to investigating the forces that can move our society forward. Our first installment focuses on one of the biggest and most harmful barriers to progress today: polarization. Polarization is something we’ve all heard about and possibly even felt in our everyday relationships. With another presidential election on the horizon and polls showing America’s widening divides, it’s time to take a serious look at how our society became fractured and what we can do, as individuals and collectively, to heal. In conversations with experts, True Progress explores the causes of polarization, its effects on our society, and pathways to solutions.