Divided Nation

Divided Nation (EP.77)

In Abortion, Common Goals, Divided Nation, Identity Politics, Podcast by Will Luden6 Comments

Summary

Haven’t we all heard that phrase over and over again? If we listen to the people who describe the division, it seems like one side has it all right and the other side is somewhere between imbecilic and evil–perhaps both. Tell me if you have heard either or both of these assessments. “The voters on the other side are racists, sexists, xenophobes and generally uneducated. Furthermore, many of them used their votes to betray their gender and race.” Or, alternatively, “The voters on the other side are looking to spend money that is not theirs in order to get everything free, everything from college to healthcare to food and housing. Furthermore, many of them are not qualified to vote in the first place.”

Those assessments are based on all the wrong assumptions, which, in turn, are based on the wrong questions. Let’s work through that today and come up with the right questions and issues. When we do that, our differences can, and should, become our strengths–not potentially our demise.

Transcript

Haven’t we all heard that phrase over and over again? If we listen to the people who describe the division, it seems like one side has it all right and the other side is somewhere between imbecilic and evil–perhaps both. Tell me if you have heard either or both of these assessments. “The voters on the other side are racists, sexists, xenophobes and generally uneducated. Furthermore, many of them used their votes to betray their gender and race.” Or, alternatively, “The voters on the other side are looking to spend money that is not theirs in order to get everything free, everything from college to healthcare to food and housing. Furthermore, many of them are not qualified to vote in the first place.”

Those assessments are based on all the wrong assumptions, which, in turn, are based on the wrong questions. Let’s work through that today and come up with the right questions and issues. When we do that, our differences can, and will, become our strengths–not potentially our demise.

We allow ourselves to be all wrapped up with labels; political leanings in general, specific party affiliations in particular, and identities like gender, race, sexual preference, religious affiliation–and whatever else the label makers can come up with to divide us. Yes, divide us. They need to keep us divided along lines they outline so that we will have to choose up sides, and remain loyal to the side that has been chosen for us.

And these labels, political parties, identity groups, etc., are designed to steer us in one direction or the other when it comes to key issues in our communities and our world. Issues like immigration, healthcare, education, geography and abortions. And climate change and so many, many others. This formula, this equation, starts with labels and uses those labels to steer us toward selecting our stance on the issues of the day, and the political allegiance based on those labels.

We are working the equation backwards. And when we approach any task backwards, we wind up in a jam. The jam we are in today is a deep, dysfunctional and widening division in our country. If we do not do something, starting now, we will fail. The world’s oldest democracy, the most powerful nation, militarily and economically, the world has ever seen, will totter and fall. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States.

Here’s how qet get a head start on fixing things; start with finding common goals instead of starting with labels. I promise you that with people of good intentions and goodwill, there is no topic, no issue, no matter how controversial, were we cannot come together and find common goals. To do that, we first need to ask the right questions. Let’s look at some examples:

K-12 Education. If you are a Democrat, you are supposed to want to severely limit Charter Schools, and prohibit vouchers. Republicans are supposed to want the opposite. What would happen if we started with a question, based on an example common goal: “How do we get the best (pre)K-12 education with the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars?” Toy with that one for a bit, and see where it goes.

Climate Change: Instead of starting with conflicting observations like, “If you ignore climate change, you will be responsible for ending life on earth as we know it.” And the opposite, “Nothing is happening here. These are not the droids you are looking for.”  Replace those positions with a straightforward question, “Recognizing that the climate is changing, is there a cure that is not worse than the disease?”

Abortion (you knew I had to go there, right?): Instead of exclamations like, “It’s my body!” and “Don’t steal my healthcare!” or, accusations like, “Murderers! You are killing babies!” Instead of all that, let’s try two questions. “When does life start?” and “When is it permissible for the state to sanction the taking of a life?”

We could do this on each and every issue that faces us. Here’s a $100 challenge: I will give you $100 if you can come up with a topic, no matter how controversial, where we cannot come up with a common goal statement, or clarifying questions that would lead to the formulation of a common goal. Are you in?

Today’s key point: Yes, we are divided, but it is because we are falling for what the dividers, the ones who benefit from this division, e.g., most politicians, much of the media and powerful special interest groups, are selling us. We need to call BS, and think for ourselves. I invite you to do exactly that, perhaps using this podcast as a starting point. Hint: Revolution 2.0 is coming. Please stand by…

The group that we all want to identify with is the group that finds common goals, then delivers those results using, you guessed it, reason. Identify the common goals, research the applicable facts–not opinions and biases–and use non agenda-based reasoning with those facts to reach the common goals. Try it. This works.

Links and References

Ask the Right Questions

Divided Nation

Charter School Make Public Schools Better

Abortion

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@resultswithreason.com, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Frequency

I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper.

Today’s application is again straightforward:

  1. Personal Responsibility. Engage with others in the political issues you find on these podcasts. Whether or not you agree with everything your hear or read at here Results With Reason, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, for what you know to be true.
  2. Be your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; some will understand what you saying immediately, others will not. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

As an author, speaker, public company board chair, family man, a man with many friends (and friends-to-be), citizen and a child of God, I am driven to contribute. One way to for me to contribute is to start thought-provoking discussions.My overall objective is to stimulate “Passionate, Relentless, Reasoning.” My specific goals include getting people to act (only) after Reasoning.
Will Luden
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Comments

  1. Free, please give your time to your family. Is it not the only value we have. Time and love for others.
    Simple answer. Money divides everything into have and have not. Both will always reach, some will win some will lose. Some will give it all away and some will keep its power. Power will corrupt even the best intentions for fear of loss. In that fear begins the blame that further divides.
    We look at Time divided as well. I think so, we look and analyze our past while planing for our future. Is it not the meaning of life to live. Right now our current breath, We attempt to put the paste back in the tube half the time, and dream of how perception could be changed the other half. My Mother taught me to give my problems to GOD, relieving me of a duel minded approach to life. Live for now and see who shows up. Be yourself, love yourself, then others will see love. And back to where we started. If love and Time is all we have, what would YOU love to see differently. I’m sure God has your back. Or if you believe God doesn’t you are divided again.

    So many awesome people all over the world, experts in peace, experts in love, experts in truth, and they all want a dollar for it. Sad really, but only when we can do it for the progression of Humanity as a whole, that’s when the game is won. It truly is what can you do for your,

    Thanks Will, needed that one today. Hope to see some debate.

    Love

    1. Author

      Rick, I love yor focus on giving and friends and family. I do find that money itself is not the issue; it is how one sees and handles money that can create problems. Cheers, Will

  2. Division seems worse today than it ever has been. I am convinced that 24 hours news cycle has a lot to do with that. News organizations thrive on controversy and division to make ratings and money so they feed the fire. That’s not to say politicians don’t contribute because they do. But the general public (like you and me) get caught up in it because we allow ourselves to be bombarded constantly by the news. We could turn off the tv but would that change anything?

  3. As much as I’d like to claim that $100, it’s pretty hard to do. Given the sheer level of hypocrisy and double-dealing in the current state of issue discussions. Seems like 90% of the noise is partisan defending of the indefensible and the discussion regress to “which side did it first” or “which side did it worse”. THOSE are the unwinnable contests i’m checking out of.

    The ONLY condition under which I’d a have a prayer of spending that $100 — is when one one side is completely right by virtue of reason and logic and law and the other side is just demogoging to protect their current tribe.

    Questions like — “Is it ever correct to believe the victim REGARDLESS of the claims and evidence?” Or — “Is it wrong to bypass national security protocols for your own personal convenience?” Or — “Is there anything of REAL VALUE in the Social Security Trust Fund?” Or maybe the winner “Do ALL Lives Matter?”

    Those more austere questions are at the bottom of too many LARGE catfights that waste the nation’s time and attention.

    1. Author

      Well, at least my cash is safe–for now…:). Your response reflects one of my main complaints/fears. Neither party ever–ever–accepts responsibility for any type of failure. Just as they both claim credit for everything good, regardless of their involvement, they blame the other for negative consequences, regardless of culpability. Will

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