BRUSSELS, BELGIUM AND BERLIN, GERMANY (October 11-18, 2017) On October 11th, Emily Hruban of the Bertelsmann Foundation presented research on the causes of polarization in the US to an audience in Brussels. Her report, (In)Divisible, was created from interviews with over 125 Americans whose stories help explain and illustrate the socio-economic, racial, religious and geographic lines dividing Americans. Following the presentation of the report, Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Sentinel discussed the polarization of the press with die Presse journalist Oliver Grimm. The two debated how changing media landscape has caused the United States to become more divided – and how, in turn, changing expectations of readers have impacted the media landscape.
A week later, on October 18th, Emily Hruban presented (In)Divisible to an audience in Berlin. Following the presentation of the report, Tony Silberfeld, Director of Transatlantic Relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation discussed the root causes of polarization in the United States with former mayor of El Paso, Texas, Joe Wardy. The debate included the role that money plays in politics and the lack of open discussion and debate between people with differing opinions. As a conservative, Wardy offered a new perspective to the audience in Berlin about issues ranging from immigration to gun control.