David French (The Dispatch, Time) stops in to talk about his latest book Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. He and Bridget cover how he sources his news, the liberation of shedding the partisan mindset and meeting in the wasteland of the center, the rise of journavism, being expelled from your tribe, taking precautions against being “swatted” by online trolls, and the times they wonder if it’s worth it. They discuss the differences between this election and 2016, take issue with the idea of voting for “the lesser of two evils” when the response should be “don’t vote for evil,” examine how our rage and hatred are what will destroy our country, and ask the question, what kind of country do we aspire to and how should I behave as a human being to try and reach this aspiration?

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Published in: General

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  1. Hank Rhody, Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Freelance Philosopher

    I don’t think so much that Donald Trump is setting the tone for America. I think Trump is reflecting the ugliness that’s already there. Take this past debate as an example. All it was missing was someone screaming “Neener neener neener!” and making ugly faces. But here’s the thing; Biden was acting the same way in the debate with Paul Ryan in 2012. He did it because it worked; and it only worked because we were already dealing with a degraded, cynical, and looking-to-be-entertained electorate.

    The only way out is to repent. The only good way at least. And that has to be done person by person. I think we’re going to have to drain this cup to the bitter dregs before that’s going to happen.

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  2. TerryS Inactive

    What I don’t like about French is his habit of creating a hierarchy of sinners. Trump is a big ol’ sinner, Roy Moore is big ol’ sinner . . .

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  3. Bryan McAllister Inactive
    Bryan McAllister

    Bridget’s reference to the adage about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, towards building an understanding of another’s opinion reminded me of a joke that a friend shared with me [I don’t know his source].  He agrees – it’s a great idea when one finds himself in a dispute with someone else to walk a mile in their shoes.  First, there will be a mile separating you two.  Second, you’ll have his shoes.  [Tougher to chase you down and escalate the conflict to physical violence, that way.]

    (Poor) Joking aside.  Interesting conversation, as always.  I will need to go back and listen to this one, again.  David has points that resonate nicely, and others which rub like sandpaper.  And, that may be good.  In that process of refinement of one’s thought processes, and harmonizing thoughts extending from one’s values – smoothing off that dissonance which seems to so often become apparent after being challenged by differing views.

    One thought that does continue to bang around in my mind, in response to the conversation.  A great deal of the conversation focused on voting on principles, and not voting when the principles don’t align [or, as French put it, the candidate must align on – 1) Character; and 2) General philosophy].  May I suggest for consideration, using the Presidential election as an example:  1) Perhaps write in a candidate, but still vote; and, 2) It is too late.

    On the second point, it’s as if French says – “Oh, neither option fits, and so I’ll be aloof and sit in the corner.”  Q:  What about talking less, and engaging earlier in the process which guides us to the candidates?  A:  Because we don’t know how.  Exactly!  Therein is the key, I believe.  Re-connect the citizen to the process, and get about the work immediately, as the process will take YEARS to fix.  Get about it … but, in the meantime, vote for a write-in.  Vote.  Participate in the runway leading up to the choice.

    Thank you, again, Bridget.

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