We are becoming more a nation of tribes in which we align ourselves with a certain side and are unwilling to unite for the benefit of the country as a whole. As many sociologists and historians have pointed out, democracy can’t survive or function in tribal cultures. We are on a fast road to a broken democracy with an inability to reach consensus on the big issues.

There are many things to blame for this: A media culture that seems to reward and encourage bitter and rancorous communication, a political culture that puts party over country, an unwillingness for all sides to sacrifice for everyone’s benefit and a winner-take-all attitude at every level in which compromise and agreement are seen as signs of weakness as opposed to strength.

What can we do? How can we again become the United States of America, and bridge the great divides that seem to exist at all levels? It is the biggest problem that I believe is facing the country, because without solving it, we can’t really solve any other problems. To start on a path towards a solution it is up to all of us individually, as well as the two parties and presidential candidates.

For us as individuals, we need to begin to bridge these divides in our own neighborhoods and communities.