Divided we fall: Why consensus matters
A launch event for Alice Rivlin’s final book, written by Alice M. Rivlin, Sheri Rivlin, and Allan Rivlin
Alice Rivlin was a trailblazer in the field of economic policy and a civil servant of unparalleled devotion. She was famous for her optimism, but toward the end of her life, she was alarmed at the state of American politics and policy. In response, she began to write “Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters,” which was completed after her death by her son and daughter-in-law Allan Rivlin and Sheri Rivlin. Although she did not live to see the unprecedented and violent turmoil following the 2020 presidential elections, these events underscore the importance of her long and detailed list of ways government insiders and concerned citizens can become involved in the defense of fair and trusted elections, effective policymaking, and truth-based, respectful civil discourse.
“Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters” is for Americans across the political spectrum who are agonizing over partisan warfare, incivility, and policy gridlock and looking for ways to get our democratic policy process back on a constructive track before it is too late.
An event on October 3 launched this important book, featuring opening remarks by Amy Liu, interim president of The Brookings Institution, followed by a conversation with Sheri Rivlin and Allan Rivlin and moderated by Cathy Minehan, Brookings Board of Trustees. A panel then discussed today’s political polarization, the outlook for the future, and the urgent lessons for America the book contains.
Viewers submitted questions for our speakers in advance and followed along with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DividedWeFall or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A conversation with the Rivlins
CEO - Zen Political Research
President - Zen Political Research
Managing Director - Arlington Advisory Partners
Brookings Board of Trustees
President and Chief Executive Officer (former) - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Is there hope or are we doomed?
Partner - Capital Group
Washington Bureau Chief - Mother Jones
William A. Galston
Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow - Governance Studies
President - Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Molly E. Reynolds
Senior Fellow - Governance Studies
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The upshot is an environment in which the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies have to engage with an ever more challenging world, even as they’re on shaky ground at home. This can fuel doubts among our allies and overconfidence among our adversaries, and leave us all more vulnerable as a result.