No matter which metric you use, it seems like there is a yawning gap between people. We are more divided than ever. What is fueling this growing difference?
Short of an escalation into violence, it’s difficult to imagine a more divided population than exists in the United States and the world.
Income inequality means more families are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, wealth is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.
There are more people leaving organized religion with each passing year. Those that remain feel persecuted.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’
But by far, the most intense division is political. Individuals in different political parties can’t even seem to have a civil conversation. Each side believes the other one is destroying the country. As a result, we are self-selecting into opposing neighborhoods, cities, and states. Nuance, complexity, and compromise are forgotten or ignored.
How did we get here? What is the cause of this division? Is it a media that is chasing advertising money? Or political leaders looking to consolidate power and influence? Are the wealthy looking to collect even more money? Are the poor lazy and shiftless? Alternately, are social media outlets — a new technology — spreading misinformation in the interest of attracting viewers?
In your opinion, who is to blame for our current state of disunity? And more importantly, perhaps, how can we reverse that trend and see our commonalities rather than our differences? Why are we so divided?