All this suggests that breaking out of polarization, thinking for yourself instead of as a partisan, is ultimately more about imagination than information, and not something achieved by becoming better educated in the facts of issue X or Y or Z. (Indeed, studies suggest that the most factually informed voters are also reliably the most partisan.)

If I were trying to de-polarize someone, in the way that you de-program members of cults or revolutionary cells, I might hand them a copy of their favorite magazine or newspaper, and ask them to construct a version in which the exact same set of stories were edited and headlined and prioritized by an editor from the opposite political persuasion. (I promise you my own guest-editing stint at New York would be fantastic.) Or to program an opinion show for Rachel Maddow using only stories that Chris Wallace and Bret Baier report, or a show for Laura Ingraham using only the stories that lead MSNBC.

It’s not that full de-polarization is ever possible; basic moral and philosophical commitments inevitably divide us. But seeing our disagreements through the lens of narrative might get us closer to a crucial insight — which is that in a big, diverse and complicated society, multiple narratives can all be true at once.