` The constant clashing of opinions Anti-federalists: Only homogeneous groups can self-govern Hamilton: Diversity of opinion promotes deliberation and circumspection, and serves to check excesses in the majority Cass Sunstein: The most profound insight of the framers was to see diversity as a creative force which would enable people not to hate each other but to think more productively about what might be done to solve problems. It turned this vice into a virtue. Madison: Factionalism as the ultimate check on power
The Divided States of America Prosperity brings mobility Maslows hierarchy: No longer about survival, but belonging We seek out people like us Groups, even communities become more likeminded Choose your news & the alleluia chorus Lifestyle and ideologically individualized churches The Big Sort: 1965 - present THE BIG SORT: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing us Apart By Bill Bishop
The United States of those people The Psychology of the Tribe 100 years of social psychology experiments consistently document how humans behave in groups Likeminded groups grow more extreme in the direction of the majority view Risky-shift phenomena: Homogeneous groups consistently make riskier decisions than individuals in the group made by themselves Ignore evidence their position is wrong Mixed company moderates; likeminded company polarizes Bishop: As a result, we now live in a giant feedback loop, hearing our own thoughts about whats right and wrong bounced back to us by the television shows we watch, the newspapers and books we read, the blogs we visit online, the sermons we hear, and the neighborhoods we live in.
Early legislators lived in regional boarding houses Jefferson: they came to work in a spirit of avowed misunderstanding, without the smallest wish to agree.
68% Solutions 34.1% We make better decisions by crossing the aisle Solutions are more durable with a larger consensus Outlast the last election Better than the constant sparring to get just over 50%
In YOUR Hometown… The only place we can really begin to fix this Neighbors reconnecting with neighbors Reviving American common purpose and common sense Remembering the Founders vision: We NEED each other, we balance each other The resurgence of The Village Square
I have always believed that a lot of the troubles in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other. --Ronald Reagan Our lives begin to end when we stop talking about things that matter. -The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Culturally, right now, we dont have a broad conversation among people... We dont agree with each other – and one of the biggest challenges, I think, we face as a nation is how do we create those spaces? --Barack Obama Thank you to Luke Inhen Political Science Grad Student Village Square Intern For planting the seeds of this presentation and for making Founding Father gums flap. Literally.