Politics Blog

Can a divided America heal after this 2016 election?

By Matt Johnson

Would you allow your child to marry a Trump supporter? Would you allow your child to marry a Clinton supporter?

Let’s take these questions to the next level. For my liberal friends, are you disgusted by Donald J. Trump and his supporters? And for my conservative friends, are you disgusted by Hillary Clinton and her supporters?

As many of my readers know, I often source Jonathan Haidt in my writing. This is because Haidt has been greatly influential in my evolution as a scientist. I would say he has probably been more influential in many ways than Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Shermer, and Richard Dawkins have.

What he has done for me, which has been vastly different from those other scientists, is he has provided me opportunities to see my own political bias. And just as importantly, his research and writing has provided me the opportunity to see the other side; for example, the set of moral foundations – authority, purity, sacredness, and tradition – that conservatives often espouse.

Indeed, conservatives are hypocrites as many of my liberal readers are now thinking to themselves. However, we liberals are hypocrites as well. In short, we are all hypocrites. The point is that we are moral creatures who view our political endeavor to be the correct one.

As a consequence, it is only after we make moral judgements do we rationalize these judgements with supportive evidence. And Haidt illustrates to us these very points in his research, the research of others, his writings, and his interviews.

In this recent TedTalk interview (this is a short video), Haidt delves into the political divide that is modern America. As he will elucidate, disgust was a salient part of this past election between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton; disgust has been increasing for some time now in American politics. This election was dirty and it was offensive. And in many ways, it has divided us further.

He will explain how we view each other. But most importantly, he will provide us with solutions for how we can go about understanding the other side; that is, to take the “other” perspective and begin to heal and coalesce as a United States. Haidt is so relevant to the psychology of our political process and it would be a shame to ignore him and his research.

It is my hope that my conservative and liberal readers will take the time to watch this short video. It will be well worth the few short minutes you invest.

Please do share your comments, thoughts, and rebuttals below.


Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist, and a mathematical scientist. You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook


You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 



Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

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