A decade ago the Florida Recount deepened and sharpened the political divisions in our society, which we felt very personally right here in Florida’s Capital City. But it turns out the divisions are far more than just political ones – we seem to be leading separate lives in so many different ways – we live near more people just like us, we go to church with people in our political tribe, and with all the choices we have in media sources, we can only listen to the people who think just like we do.
And if all that weren’t enough, it turns out we human beings were built to be tribal. We’re groupish as a species, so all the time we spend apart is starting to take a toll on the whole “e pluribus unum” concept.
The 2010-11 Dinner at the Square season will dive into the forces that are pulling us apart and seek to understand how we can reverse them. In 365 days or less. No big deal.
We'll finish this year's discussion of our divisions with a bit of a call to action, issued in the form of a powerful book by Nautilus Book Award winner Stephen P. Kiernan: Authentic Patriotism.
Meet our friends Matt Motyl and Jonathan Haidt, moral psychologists who are charting new ground in understanding how our human nature makes civil discourse much more difficult when we spend most of our time with people just like us.
Turns out Americans have been sorting ourselves in every aspect of our lives - in the news we watch, the books we read, the churches we attend, even the neighborhoods we live in. Uh oh.
As the spate of August town halls comes to an end, The Village Square offers a new twist on the health care debate by serving it up for dinner, with a side of civility, diversity of opinion and fact checking on the side. Who knew this was possible?