This contest it to create a cover, spine, and back cover for a new, small book: "CRISIS OF OUR HOUSE DIVIDED: A Guide to Talking Politics Without the Noise." Author is Thomas Krannawitter.
This book is a short, easy to read, non-academic book that explains why Americans are so pitted against one another, politically and culturally, and offers a way for them to understand and communicate with each other better, possible even come to some agreements about how we might move forward as a country.
The book shows how we have come to a place where many Americans seem angry, as we shout at and fight with those who hold different political views -- including personal friends, co-workers, family members, sometimes even lovers -- or just ignore them altogether. We tend to view those who have different political views as bad people, simply, and that is why we often treat them badly, disrespectfully, rudely.
But the book goes on to make clear that many people who might consider themselves to be liberal or conservative, progressive or libertarian, share many of the same goals, ends, and purposes. Virtually everyone wants, to name just some of things we have in common, safe medicines and foods, reliable cars, phones, and technology of all kinds, and economic growth, jobs, and increasingly better ways of life and more opportunities for more and more people. The main disagreements in the United States today tend to be about the *means* of how we go about getting those things everyone agrees are good.
The book features an account of two fictional countries -- New Dealand and Freeland -- that helps readers understand why people of opposing political stripes approach such matters in such strikingly different ways. By employing this rhetorical device of fictional countries, the book avoids quotations from known historical or political figures that tend to divide people, even by mentioning their names. Thus there are no references to the Founding Fathers, or leading progressive figures such as Woodrow Wilson or Franklin D. Roosevelt, or more contemporary figures like Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama. None of those people appear in the book.
In the end, the book aims to help Americans see their fellow citizens as good people who want good things for themselves, their families, their friends, and others. The book is hopeful and optimistic, filled with promise. By emphasizing the many things we Americans have in common, the book concludes by suggesting ways that we might talk with each other, rather than shouting and yelling, and discover together solutions to problems all of us want to solve by meeting and satisfying interests we share in common.