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DU in the News—Nov. 28th edition

DU faculty and staff were in the news last week, discussing our increasingly polarized political climate, how to make your charitable giving count and a lawsuit that contends a police department's policy on immigrants breaks New York state law. Read on for more from Seth Masket, David Miller and Christopher Lasch.

Seth Masket, director of the Center for American Politics and professor of political science, was interviewed on MSNBC about increased polarization in U.S. politics. The segment comes in response to a poll that finds 63% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans say that talking politics with someone who has different opinions is “stressful or frustrating.” Masket says, “We’ve been seeing this trend over a few decades now. It’s what political scientists call ‘negative partisanship’—that is, we don’t necessarily feel better about our own party as time goes on, but we feel worse about the other party.” He adds, “Republicans increasingly see Democrats as not only wrong, but dangerous to the country and hostile to its values. Democrats have the same view of Republicans over time. This is consistent with a lot of the polarization that’s been going on but it’s actually a very difficult cycle to get out of.” Masket also discussed the race for Colorado’s next governor recently on Colorado Public Radio.

David Miller, executive director of the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, writes about how we should consider future generations with our charitable giving in an op-ed for the Denver Business Journal. “Americans tend to give more resources to older people than to younger people,” Miller writes. “Our annual federal budget deficits and our astronomically-high federal debt are putting a huge burden on our children, grandchildren, and future generations.” He suggests several ways individuals can provide for future generations—from contributing to organizations that advocate for early childhood health and education, to giving to endowment funds, which are structured to last in perpetuity. “Of course, concern about the future can be taken to extremes,” Miller writes. “But I believe current policies too strongly favor the present over the future when it comes to allocating our resources. It behooves us to try to recalibrate that balance in a way that is more fair to future generations.”

Lawyers from the Central American Refugee Center recently filed a lawsuit against New York’s Nassau County saying that the county’s police department was cooperating with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in ways that break state law. The suit stems from the Nassau County Police Department’s policy, which the Central American Refugee Center says is cooperating with ICE in ways that break state laws. Christopher Lasch, associate professor at the Sturm College of Law, tells the New York Times, “It’s a sensible challenge because it goes straight to what is perhaps the easiest question for the state court to answer: does our state law give our officers the ability to make civil immigration arrests.”