Steve McIntosh Part 1: Cultural Intelligence and the Roots of Polarization


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Why is America so polarized? Today everyone wants to know. Explanations abound—money in politics, gerrymandering, cronyism in Washington, the two-party system, the electoral college, the primary system, or even the structure of Constitution. While these issues are each worthy of real concern, many are effects rather than causes. In this episode of Thinking Ahead, Carter interviews Steve McIntosh, author of Developmental Politics and co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, about the underlying cultural issues that are driving our hyper-partisan era. They discuss the historical roots of polarization; the rise of progressive politics in the 1960s and 1970s; and the ways in which progressivism’s new influence has upset the applecart and changed the political dynamics of the country. And they propose the emergence of a new “cultural intelligence” that can help reconcile America’s competing worldviews. Can we integrate progressive concerns without abandoning or condemning other legitimate political views? How do we build a post-progressive coalition can transcend polarization and appeal to more of the country? Is there a way forward that doesn’t involve worsening civil strife and conflict? This episode is a deep dive into a new way of thinking about American politics.

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