Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
US Flag Rippled

Bridging Our Divides: Confronting America’s Threat from Within

Jan 14, 2020

The United States is threatened by a paralyzed political system and growing cultural divide. Our mounting divisions are putting our nation at risk by preventing us from dealing responsibly with a range of critical threats and challenges facing us in the 21st century. This deterioration is reaching a point where we are losing trust and faith in our politicians, our institutions, and each other.

On the morning of Tuesday, January 14, we hosted a public forum with thought leaders and reform activists who will examine the political, economic, and cultural root causes of our growing national divides and potential solutions. The event featured the work of FixUS, a new project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Watch the full video of the event, or view the individual panels via the links below.

Introductory Remarks - Watch

  • Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, FixUS
  • Michael V. Murphy, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, FixUS

Panel #1: Root Causes of Division & Dysfunction - Watch

  • Tim Dixon, More in Common
  • Mickey Edwards, The Aspen Institute
  • Ashley Quarcoo, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Paul Stebbins, FixUS (Participant/Moderator)

Panel #2: Economic Factors & Policy Solutions - Watch

  • Melissa Kearney, University of Maryland
  • Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; (Participant/Moderator)
  • Richard Reeves, The Brookings Institution
  • Will Wilkinson, Niskanen Center

Panel #3: Fixes to Address our Political Divide - Watch

  • Kahlil Byrd, Invest America (Participant/Moderator)
  • Kevin Kosar, R Street Institute
  • Nick Penniman, Issue One
  • Rachel Peric, Welcoming America

Remarks: - Watch

  • Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) 
  • Representative Tom Graves (R-GA)

Select Quotes from the Event:

Hon. Mickey Edwards, Former Congressman – “What I love about FixUS is it's looking at this holistically, because it is a big problem and we are seeing the parts that are all interrelated.”

Rachel Peric, Welcoming America – “It’s really clear we can’t make much progress without structural reforms, and we also can’t make much progress, not just on immigration or on any problem, if we don’t see each other as “us.” And creating a greater sense of “we” comes down to things that are within our power to do.”

Paul Stebbins, FixUS – “These issues are profound and they are deep. They are cultural, economic, political and they are moral. And I would say that the greatest political experiment is at risk and we need to pay attention.”

About FixUS: FixUS seeks to better understand the political, economic, and cultural root causes of our divisions, to bring attention and visibility to these issues, to build support for necessary changes, and ultimately, to help regain the sense of shared aspirations, values, and a belief that there is more that unites us than divides us.  

Find out more information about FixUS and sign up to receive updates. And follow on Twitter @FixUSorg.