Hans Zeiger in the Washington Examiner: “In divided times, America’s founding principles can unite us”
Politics is more polarized than it has been in a generation. With an acrimonious presidential election looming in 2024, it seems like there is little that can bring together the Left and Right. Sadly, it’s also true that political violence is skyrocketing . It feels as though the country is entering a period of political crisis.
The results of a new poll by YouGov and the University of Texas at Austin’s Civitas Institute point to this growing sense of crisis. Sixty-two percent of those polled said the country is headed in the wrong direction. Thirty-nine percent said democracy is not working for the United States. Overall, it paints a bleak picture of what the public is thinking about our future. Public trust in institutions and leaders is in a state of decay.
But here’s the good news: The Civitas Institute’s poll shows that the way to reunite people is to rally around our founding principles. Fifty-five percent of those polled said America is the greatest country in the world, and across the board, the public affirms the importance of the Bill of Rights. Our Constitution is still a set of shared principles about liberty and justice — and if we want to bring the country together around a vision of a brighter future, it must be rooted in this civic heritage…
Hans Zeiger is the President of the Jack Miller Center, a nationwide network of scholars and teachers who are committed to advancing the core texts and ideas of the American political tradition. In preparation for the 250th anniversary of American independence in 2026, Hans is leading an ambitious campaign to expand the pipeline of scholars who are dedicated to the teaching of America’s founding principles and history, to seed and cultivate university campus centers for the study of the American political tradition, and to expand the teaching of core civic knowledge in America’s K-12 schools.
Hans previously served in state and local government in Washington State, including service as chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee. He gained a reputation as a bipartisan collaborator, being named by the National Institute for Civil Discourse as co-recipient of the Gabrielle Giffords Award for Civility in State Governance in 2015.
Hans led the Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute from 2012 to 2020. He was an adjunct professor of political science at Seattle Pacific University, a Leadership Fellow of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and a Rodel Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Hans was also a trustee of the Washington State Historical Society.
Hans’s writings on public policy, history, and civil society have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, National Review Online, and Seattle Times, among others.
Hans holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and a master’s in public policy from Pepperdine University. He also studied American politics at Claremont Graduate University. He previously served as a public affairs officer in the Air National Guard. Hans and his wife Erin have two daughters.
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