One enduring reality makes every challenge of democratic self-governance more difficult: human beings. The founders integrated their deep understanding of our flawed nature into the form of government they designed — the checks and balances, the rights of the minority to control the power and excess of majority factions. Now that those dudes are no longer around and it’s our job to steer the ship of state, are we adequately contemplating how the most essential truths of our psychology as a species affect our ability to live and govern together? Are we making good decisions given, uh, humans?
Add to the complex stew of human nature the politics of power – who’s in (and likes order), and who’s out (and will flirt with the change that chaos can bring) – and all the disruption we’re currently experiencing starts to have a story arc.
Making everything just that much worse, we’ve effectively (though accidentally) used technology to weaponize human nature. In today’s angry partisan throwdown, we’re remarkably able to overlook human error in “us” even as we make a hobby out of obsessively pointing out what’s wrong with “them.” (Turns out this is human nature too.)
We’ll bring in psychologists — who have different worldviews, but talk anyway — whose verbal jousting we’ve found truly riveting. We’ll talk people, partisanship, power, and presidents. (No topics that don’t start with a “p”.) Come see if our facilitator can get a word in edgewise, we may start a pool.