David B. Woolner is a Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute, Senior Fellow of the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College, and Associate Professor of History at Marist College. He most recently published the edited volume Progressivism in America: Past Present and Future.

In the wake of the most divisive national election in modern memory, President Obama has stressed that the president-elect and others in positions of power must send out “signals of unity” to maintain “the norms of a functioning democracy,” including the norms of “civility, tolerance, and a commitment to reason…facts and analysis.” But evidence of