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Smart Communities: How Citizens and Local Leaders Can Use Strategic Thinking to Build a Brighter Future, 2nd Edition by Suzanne W. Morse

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CHAPTER FIVE

Practicing Democracy

In 2013 in Warrenton, Virginia, a small town near Washington, D.C., the town's two-hundred-year-old newspaper, The Fauquier Times-Democrat, decided to drop “Democrat” from its name because of the partisanship climate that exists most everywhere these days. The paper said it was a business decision to appeal to new people in the community.

This is a small example of a country in a crisis of consensus. Over the last several decades, we have seen an erosion of our ability to talk and reason with each other over issues that are critical to our collective long-term prosperity. There have always been partisanship, labels, and divisiveness, but the latest incarnation has led to a civic paralysis that stymies the ability ...

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