Johnologue 1: Uniting America

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Better Angels leader and media director John Wood, Jr. calls upon us to “Unite America,” addressing the challenges and arguments against depolarization in this special episode of The Better Angels Podcast.

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4 thoughts on “Johnologue 1: Uniting America”

  1. I would like to know how we Americans can agree to disagree on abortion. I believe this is the most intractable of our divisive issues. This is not just a religious beliefs issue as there are a significant number of secular Americans who oppose abortion. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Pro-Life for example.) I do not see how personal choice (pro-choice) for women could be the answer when those who are pro-life believe abortion is the taking of a human life, essentially murder, and see legal abortion as the degrading of the value of all human lives. A pro-life person might ask “After legal abortion, what is next, legal Mercy killing?”.

  2. I liked the points by Mr. Wood which were covered in fine detail. One item which he briefly mentioned was how different entities exploit differences for economic/political gain. Looking from the consumer’s the side of this transaction; how common everyday people have become so addicted to media which trashes people who aren’t like them. I’m not sure where this ends, but there is a very real moral hazard in engaging in it. Germany during the 1st 1/2 of the 20th Century comes to mind. It takes a lot of effort on the personal level and a very thick skin not buy into the fairy tales being put out there. Lastly, I commend the Better Angels Organization for their heroic effort to confront this.

  3. Lee Offenhauer

    Hi John,
    I just listened to the whole podcast about uniting America, and I am in complete agreement with all you say. I think what you said about Martin Luther King’s approach, which was modeled after Gandhi’s approach in India, is vitally important. To the best our ability, we need to have the best interest of our fellow humans at heart when we engage them, particularly when we engage them in potentially divisive discussions.
    There’s really only one area that I find myself, not in disagreement with you, but with a desire to add something to what you’ve said.
    I think we can all acknowledge that each side has a tendency to demonize the other side. To that end, comments are taken out of context, false narratives are created and pernicious lies are spread; sometimes inadvertently, but frequently quite purposely. So to that end it seems to me that it’s also extremely important to call this behavior out on whichever side it occurs. This is important for two reasons; 1) because it’s vital to know that, for example Hillary and Obama DID NOT create ISIS (to cite an obvious one that comes to mind), because if a lie like that goes unchecked, and I am a conservative who loves his country, why should I believe any liberals when they seem to condone such a thing, if only by association? 2) because knowing the truth about a given topic or talking point or whatever will give me some solid reasons why I would want to treat my political opposites with love and respect. This is related to the first reason of course.
    So I guess my only point here is that I think it should also be incumbent upon Better Angels to not only strive to overcome the divisiveness rampant in our country, but to point out the truth and the distortions of each side. This way people can see more clearly where the other is coming from, and while they may still not agree, at least it gives them a more solid reason to have respect instead of disdain.
    I hope all that makes sense, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Bill Keslar

    Very helpful. How much more effective we can be, if we adopt the practice of prefacing our comments by professing that love for the other.

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