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How a Hijab-Wearing Muslim and a MAGA Hat-Wearing Conservative Formed a Friendship

Amina Amdeen is a Muslim who wears a hijab. She’s been in situations where people have tried to remove her hijab from her head. So when she saw a group of protestors trying to light conservative Joseph Weidknecht on fire and snatch a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat from his head, she took swift action to defend him. The event took place at a march protesting the election of Donald Trump in Austin, Texas, in 2016. The two somewhat unlikely friends tell their tale on StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization that records conversations between two participants, often with the theme of bridging political divides. “I don’t think we could be any further apart as people, and yet it was just kinda like this common, 'That’s not okay,’ moment,” Weidknecht said.

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A Place to Go and a Place to Stand: Can Democracy Save Itself?

The Internet has undeniably expanded the voices of individuals and groups in our political discourse. And yet, the role of the citizen seems to be diminishing even as the power of the individual grows. Like many of you reading this post, I thought the Internet would foster a powerful and engaged citizens’ consensus that could moderate toxic political discourse. It has done the opposite, by helping to create today’s stark political divide. And although we are at a crossroads between danger and opportunity, I believe there is reason to expect that the Internet will still get us to a more perfect democracy. This is an exciting moment. Scores of new organizations are emerging that support civility and resist poison partisanship. One activist calls this new effort “the Healthy Democracy Movement.” It pinpoints two specific areas that can be addressed to bring public participation in civil dialogue to the next level, and perhaps to the scale necessary to help solve today’s crisis of citizenship.

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7 Ways for Teens to Get Involved in Politics

Staring down an election year is daunting enough, but knowing that you won’t be able to head to the polls adds another layer of anxiety. Luckily, though, there are things you can do to get involved with politics as a teenager without casting a ballot. With minor elections around the corner and the General election swiftly approaching next year, it can be frustrating for young people who want to make their voices heard. Sure, you want to join the youth voter movement, but you’re too young to register or vote this year. Staring down an election year is daunting enough, but knowing that you won’t be able to head to the polls adds another layer of anxiety. Luckily, though, there are things you can do to get involved with politics as a teenager without casting a ballot.

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