America’s founding generation started with a bold and audacious premise – one entirely new in recorded history: That a diverse people could self-govern. To achieve that nearly impossible notion, they imagined a country where – in Alexander Hamilton’s words “the constant clashing of opinion” would serve to strengthen the union, where diversity of opinion was embraced as a strength rather than overcome.
In this new country, the very existence of people who disagree with one another served to strengthen solutions, protect the constitutional rights of those who didn’t hold a majority view and build a marketplace of ideas where the best solutions came of the struggle between competing ideas.
Today we find an America that is diverse beyond our founders’ imagination. But there is a broad sense that the legacy our founders left us is no longer functioning as intended. The ties that bind us together across our differences seem to be fraying. And the conversation of our democracy is increasingly absent, replaced by feuding tribes of people who seem to hate each other and believe their political foes represent a basic threat to democracy with which they cannot possibly negotiate.
We’ll use this season to consider how we might get back to our founding motto.
Turns out deep and worsening political polarization we’re experiencing has a lot more to do with the basics of human psychology and our moral reasoning habits than we’d care to admit. We’ll be joined by special guest Dr. Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind.
In 2020 we’ll celebrate 100 years since the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and women having the right to vote. Since then, boy have we ever come a long way. Right? We’re bringing you all sorts of opinions on the answer to that particular question.
America is diverse beyond our founders’ imagination. As a nation of immigrants, we don’t see the issue of immigration eye-to-eye anymore. As immigrants strain our resources, they also do the necessary work of our country. As people wait in line for decades to immigrate legally, millions have simply come.