Local nonprofit seeks to reduce America’s political divide

The Leader Ethics nonprofit advocates for politicians to be truthful, to be transparent with public information and to unify people rather than divide them, among other pillars of the organization.

(WKBT) LA CROSSE — According to the political news website Five Thirty Eight, about 3 in 10 Americans say political polarization is one of the top issues facing the nation.

The local nonprofit known as Leader Ethics seeks to overcome this country’s political divisions.

Lee Rasch, who holds a doctorate in higher education administration, previously served as the president of Western Technical College for 28 years.  He founded the Leader Ethics nonprofit and serves as its executive director.

“The typical Republican position and Democratic position in the 1990s and early 2000s was actually pretty close and today it’s much farther apart,” he said.

Rasch believes that America’s political polarization is causing people to develop a level of cynicism.

“But it’s not just politics because what’s happening is resulting in a breakdown in trust,” he said. “Trust in other citizens, trust in our institutions,” he added.

The Leader Ethics nonprofit advocates for politicians to be truthful, to be transparent with public information and to unify people rather than divide them, while also working to represent their entire constituency.

Political Expert Joe Heim, who holds a doctorate in political science and government, is a member of the Leader Ethics organization.

On Friday, he said American society has slowly been disintegrating in terms of being cynical. He also said that cynicism in the U.S. has affected the psychology of voting.

“It’s added to the cynicism of the basic element of our democracy and that’s elections,” he said.

Heim added that political cynicism is on the rise because politicians often use it to win elections.

“If you want to rev up your base and get them out in support of your candidates, happiness is second to cynicism and anger,” he added.