Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Human beings are story tellers. Stories help us make meaning of events around us and figure out what to care about. Not surprisingly, conservative and progressive Americans believe they are living very different stories. These differences go way back, but one unexpected and dismaying consequence of the information age has been to widen the chasm to a point that we often can’t see the humanity of people on the other side.

Now, a second fracture is cracking open—this one between people on the left half of the spectrum—and the dynamics are becoming disturbingly similar. Call-out culture, mobbing, shunning, shaming, censorship, family rifts . . . What’s going on? What, if anything, should we do about it? Obviously, there are lots of factors at work here—social media, demographic changes, foreign agents playing us—but from my vantage as a psychologist and storyteller, one factor is the content of our political narratives.

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