How much do you know about bipartisanship? Take our quiz.

Ann Hermes/Staff
Pictured here is the dome of the US Capitol building.

Americans aren’t big fans of Congress. According to the latest numbers, three-quarters of the country disapproves of its job performance. Since President Obama took office in 2009, Congress’s highest approval rating has been 37 percent. Recent instances of partisan brinkmanship – the 2011 debt-ceiling debate, the 2012 fiscal-cliff standoff, and the 2013 sequester dispute – have made many citizens disillusioned with the lawmaking process and concerned about the country’s future prosperity.

But wait! There’s hope. Bipartisanship – cooperation, agreement, and compromise between the two major political parties – has always existed in Washington. The creation of Congress itself wouldn’t have happened without the Great Compromise that settled the issue of representation at the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

How much do you know about America’s bipartisan tradition – past and present? Take our quiz to find out.

1. Which Great Depression-era program was significantly expanded with bipartisan congressional support in 1977?

Ann Hermes/Staff
Pictured here is the dome of the US Capitol building.
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
The SNAP card is accepted at designated food markets.

Civilian Conservation Corps

Food stamps

Public Works Administration

Social Security

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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