As we begin to heal on the other side of a painful presidential election, we're left with deep cultural divides that frankly have been growing there for a while. So it's worth taking a giant step back and examining ourselves and the insulated bubbles we've put ourselves in. As comfortable as this social insulation is, it--along with a culture of intense sensitivity that lobotomizes what we say for fear of offending others-- keeps us from the free exchange of ideas. Instead we perceive someone with even the smallest deviation from our point of view as "one of them.” While those with extreme liberal views fight for a unrealistic level of absolute inclusion which flies in face of our objective differences, extreme conservatives feel their side of the coin is just as right and they passionately defending their own strict point of view and seek inclusion as well. Both sides arm themselves with friends and Facebook feeds which reinforce and fuel what they already believe. It’s worth taking a step out of that fray and examining ourselves and yes— fearlessly climbing out of our safe and comfy pods to try to understand and accept people who are different.
There are two kinds of people: those of us that are domesticated and those that feel strangely out of place. The ones that feel out of place, might not be able to communicate why, but know in their gut not only that our world is toxic but that the systems and traditions we’ve created don’t feel even close to natural. No matter which camp you fall in, both feel depressed, frustrated, anxious and flat-out unsatisfied as they get dragged through our culture’s unfriendly demands just to stay afloat. Have you ever asked yourself how and why we’ve sabotaged ourselves like this? Author and Psychologist Chris Ryan, has tackled big parts of the Matrix through his and his wife’s book, Sex at Dawn, his podcast Tangentially Speaking and his forthcoming book Civilized to Death.
Where do you place yourself on the animal kingdom ladder? Near the top? Odds are that you’re living inside the “we're so god-kissed and unique” human story that we all seem to march to versus thinking of yourself as a talking, organized ape. I mean, look at all the tests we’ve done on animals to prove how wild their violent, beastly kingdom is and how civilized and advanced we are. Wonder why we win those tests every time? But what if we’re very, very wrong. What if our us-centric frameworks keep us from knowing ourselves and connecting with the world around us in a way that completely destroys that hierarchical "nature ladder?"
It’s actually a fact that our political parties have never-- in the history of the United States-- been so deeply divided. Have you ever wondered how we got this way? Well I was shocked to find out that it was actually race, starting with the Civil Rights Movement, that created this incredible separation between parties. This year’s election marks potentially the most dramatic division that we’ve ever had and it could be the beginning of a schism that completely shakes up our two-party system. While a lot of us have opinions about politics, Stanford Professor Doug Mcadam is a Political Sociologist that researches the facts around the subject. He’s the former Director of Center of Advance Study in Behavioral Sciences, he’s authored 18 books and 85 other publications all focused on Political Sociology with emphasis on race and social movements. So if there’s anyone who understands how the color of our skin has created two parties that pretty much don’t talk to each other anymore, it’s Doug.