We’ll Be OK If We Can Make It to 2040

May 1st, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-05-01%2Bat%2B9.42.0America has often been a divided nation. Battles at our founding were often settled at 50 paces.The western ethos that is part of half of America fueled many of those divisions. Brother fought against brother

in the civil war. The industrial revolution gave us riots, and death and violence. The cold war and fear of communism gave rise to whole careers and lives ruined just by accusation. The ’60s didn’t just produce great music but led to the death of students on the safety of a college campus.

But, to use the often tired cliche of Wall Street, this time it’s different. Or at least so it seems. The divide today, fueled by social media, by 24/7 news cycles and the decline of faith in our basic institutions and fear of hyper-rapid and deep fundamental change has produced a kind of tribalism that undermines rather than reinforces all the central ideas of democracy and republican government.

Darrell M. West vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution looks at all of this in Divided Politics, Divided Nation: Hyperconflict in the Trump Era.

My conversation with Darrell West:

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