The problem isn't conflict, the problem is the kind of conflict.
The type of conflict that's permeating America today is the intractable kind where normal rules of engagement don't apply. High conflict is the opposite of useful friction or healthy conflict. It's when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud — an us and a them. Sound familiar? In this time when everything is political, including aspects of the pandemic, everyday Americans are at each other's throats. How can we break free? In her book, High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, Amanda Ripley examines how cases of high conflict across the globe share similar characteristics. She tells Garrett Graff, director for cyber initiatives for the Aspen Digital program at the Aspen Institute, about a mind-opening new way to think about conflict.