Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Saner Heads: Anne Applebaum

 I was listening to a podcast today (the new abnormal from the daily beast) and one guest was Anne Applebaum. They had her on as an expert in civil societies and how to heal. In particular, she discussed how to heal the divisions on the nation. And she had some great comments.

Her first one, that is painfully obvious to those of us that are awake right now, is that you can't cure disagreements by arguing. For an example, let's just pretend that Covid denying, election interfering Maga Heads are terrible people.

Now, there is no way to change their minds about Trump - if we talk about Trump. The way to heal the nation is to define a set of projects that we can agree upon. And then build on that trust to rebuild our country's community. 

For example, we can all agree our bridges and infrastructure need to be fixed. Let's deal with that first. Our Covid response has to be better, let's deal with that first.

The idea is these shared priorities can help us rebuild our commonality as Americans. And, over time, this will spread to other areas.

She used the example (that worked) of Colombia after decades of FARQ insurrection.  Now a functioning place. Or a place like Egypt, where the insurrection never ended in shared goals and is now a dictatorship.

The other hopeful thing she stated is that it seems that President-elect Biden seems to instinctively understand this. He isn't about attacking Trumps followers, but is trying to build a shared set of goals.

Finally, a slight parting in the clouds of anger, denial and frustration.

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