Interview of the Week: Mo Elleithee, Executive Director of GU Politics

This week we wanted to learn about how to make our politics less divisive, particularly when it comes to making progress on climate change and environmental issues. So we reached out to Mo — an original Friend of the Planet — who has been studying civility in politics for years. In GU Politics’ most recent polling, they found that Americans believe that politics are as badly divided as they have ever been, but that people are optimistic despite that.

“We’ve been tracking Americans’ attitudes toward civility — how bad do they think it is and who do they blame — and this year the top two slots are special interests and social media.”  

“When you look at an issue like climate and what is holding people back, going back to that point in the poll about people blaming special interests, I’m curious as we do more research on this, to see how people define that because I would suspect that even that is polarized…both (sides) blaming those special interests but having different definitions of who those special interests are.”

Mo says that in his view the key is for policymakers to stop talking to each other and the press and instead to talk to the people who are impacted. That sounds like good advice to us!  Thanks, Mo!

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