Are politics worth breaking up over? Expert weighs in on Georgia elections, polarization

Gwinnett County voters, right, walk past a line of residents waiting to cast their ballot at the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections, a Gwinnett County early voting site, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Alyssa Pointer for NPR)

It’s a politically contentious time in Georgia, with negative campaign attack ads running round the clock ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

The word divisive often comes up. Georgia public school teachers can no longer teach “divisive concepts” — including that the U.S. and the state of Georgia are fundamentally or systemically racist. That law was passed in the last session. Plus most abortions in Georgia are now banned at around six weeks into a pregnancy, before many know they are pregnant.

If you’ve broken out into fights at the dinner table or around the holidays on these issues, or similar notoriously-disputed topics that ruffle feathers, you’re not alone.

Debilyn Molineaux is the CEO of the Bridge Alliance, a nationwide coalition with the goals of protecting Democracy, depolarizing elections and promoting the importance of voting. Molineaux joined WABE’s “Morning Edition” to discuss how that polarization takes root in our communities, and if we can find a middle ground.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.