( CNN) There is a slow-motion car accident tone to the extermination of democratic standards right now. But we can’t afford to simply fixate on our problems. We need to focus on finding solutions.

The good information is that there is a growing awareness that we cannot take our republic for awarded. This is a time to straighten our civic backbones and roll up our sleeves. But healing our nation’s divides will require more than the corrective of one election. Polarization is deeper than our politics: It has beginnings in financial and cultural rights partitions that have frayed our appreciation of national unity and abridged trust between fellow citizens.

To fix this, we’ll need to build a citizens’ movement based on something bigger than partisan politics or dogma. It will require policy prescriptions that move our country away from the forces that partition us — group think and group blame — and toward the forces that unite us, in the intertwined areas of politics, economics and culture.

So, there are nine big ideas( and a few smaller ones) that can help reunite the society and combat the larger pressures of polarization.

Politics: Three fair and functional reforms

Politics is, of course, the primary face of our polarization. But, as I’ve said before, President Donald Trump is a symptom rather than the cause of our schisms. We’re reaping what we’ve sown over decades — a twisted incentive structure that has pushed our parties toward the ideological extremes, drawing them less functional and less represented on the nation as a whole.


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