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Sat Nov 21, 2020, 03:22 PM

Slate "Americans' Contempt for One Another Has Become a Bonfire"


ďWeíre building the bonfire, and we havenít yet had the flame.Ē
NOV 21, 20205:45 AM

David French is a senior editor of the Dispatch, where he also hosts a number of the conservative publicationís podcasts. He started out as a Never Trumper; then once there was a Trump, became an anti-Trumper; and now can probably best be described as a thank-God-thereís-no-longer-a-TrumpĖer. Heís out with a new book called Divided We Fall: Americaís Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.

Earlier this week, French joined me for a two-part conversation on my podcast The Gist to discuss his book and Americaís divided past, present, and future. A portion our interview is transcribed below. It has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Mike Pesca: I came into your book fairly doubtful that secession was a realistic threat to America. And I came out of your book either as doubtful or more doubtful, and I have to say, part of the reason that Iím not convinced is because you provided very convincing arguments that weíre not really going to have a secessionist movement.

One issue is just geographic: The parts of our country that are at each otherís throats are not geographically contiguous. When the South seceded from the North, it was not the case that the big research cities or university cities within the South all sided with the North. But the other thing was, as you note in your book, there is obviously no occupying force in American cities like the Redcoats in Boston. And thankfully there is not yet a critical mass of the American body politic that believes the threat from their political opponents to be so profound that it requires drastic actions.

That spoke to me. Itís not nothing, but the [current] conflict is more focused on owning the libs and frog memes than it is on secession. Now, I know you point out that even though thatís where it is now, it can get worse. But if you want to, Iíll give you the chance to talk me off my blasť attitude of saying, come on, itís not really going to happen.

David French: Yeah. Iím going to try to talk you out of the blasť attitude, and the reason why is the first third of the book, [which is] essentially making the argument that what we have is no important cultural, political, religious, [or] social trend that is pulling us together more than itís pushing us apart. And so the combination of the big sort where weíre grouping with like-minded individualsóthe combination of the law of group polarization where when we group with like-minded individuals, we tend to become more extreme in our thinking. How we then live in separate Overton windows where we not only have our own political vernacular, but we often canít even really, truly communicate with people on the other side. [That] means that we do have these large geographically contiguous areas that have a relatively common culture that they feel is under very real threat.

snip - interesting read. rest at the link

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Reply Slate "Americans' Contempt for One Another Has Become a Bonfire" (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Saturday OP
CrispyQ Saturday #1
NRaleighLiberal Saturday #2

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 03:52 PM

1. If they didn't have us to hate, they wouldn't know what to do with their time.

Even if we could draw a line down the center of the country & move red America to one side & blue America to the other, they would sit on their side, simmering in hate & resentment & would cross the barrier just to stir things up. It's been the story of our species since we crawled out of the cave. It's a cooperative, "we in this together" mindset vs a competitive, "you're on your own" mindset.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 03:58 PM

2. agreed.

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