After the Election, Fear Is Our Only Chance at Unity – NYTimes.com

Good post-election piece by Jonathan Haidt, author of  The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, on how our world views, religion and political ideologies both bind us together with those whose views we share, and blind us to opposing viewpoints. This tendency is amplified by the multi-channel universe in which we live in, particularly social media. Interesting read:

When we focus only on the one asteroid that most frightens us, we feel anger at the partisans on the other side. We curse their blindness without recognizing our own. But if we can look up into the sky and see a whole fleet of asteroids heading for us, we lose our tunnel vision and experience a healthy form of panic. We’re in big trouble, and anyone who does that hyperpartisan stuff now should be ashamed — or kicked out of office. The day after Election Day is the day for all of us, and our siblings and cousins, to come together and start building an asteroid deflection system.

The only nuance to his argument, is the increasing tendency to disregard or discount scientific and other evidence that helps inform opinion (see Allan Gregg’s 1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason). Policy options to address growing income inequality should acknowledge that it exists, similarly with climate change, crime, and health indicators.

After the Election, Fear Is Our Only Chance at Unity – NYTimes.com.

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2 thoughts on “After the Election, Fear Is Our Only Chance at Unity – NYTimes.com

  1. Interesting read. I’m all for an asteroid deflection system. 🙂 There’s truth to what he says – when we have a common “enemy,” we come together in amazing ways. After 9/11, no one cared if you were democrat, republican, or anything else – we were unified in our horror and determination to never let something like that happen again. I’m a conservative, but not an extreme or far-right one. I’m embarrassed by my fellow conservatives who ride so high on their self-righteous horses that they can’t have a rational conversation with someone who opposes them. Likewise, I am continually annoyed by those on the far-left who refuse to accept that there are opinions other than their own. We are intelligent human beings who should be able to have conversations and work out solutions that advance the welfare of the majority of Americans . . . but the desire to do so does not seem to be there – at least not yet. Thanks for sharing the article, Andrew.

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