Healing the Divide
Date(s) - 12/05/2021
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
How America Fractured Into Four Parts
Our December discussion topic is based on Atlantic magazine article by George Packer entitled “How America Fractured Into Four Parts.”  It is subtitled “People in the United States no longer agree on the nation’s purpose, values, history, or meaning. Is reconciliation possible?”  The article is available online at     www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/07/george-packer-four-americas/619012/.
Packer describes four American “tribes” that he says need to be reconciled:
  • Free America       (the libertarian Red America)
  • Smart America    (the coastal elite Blue America)
  • Real America       (Trump’s Red America)
  • Just America        (BIPOC post-liberal Blue America)

Packer says:

“All four of the narratives I’ve described emerged from America’s failure to sustain and enlarge the middle-class democracy of the postwar years.

They all respond to real problems. Each offers a value that the others need and lacks ones that the others have.
Free America celebrates the energy of the unencumbered individual.
Smart America respects intelligence and welcomes change.
Real America commits itself to a place and has a sense of limits.
Just America demands a confrontation with what the others want to avoid.

They rise from a single society, and even in one as polarized as ours they continually shape, absorb, and morph into one another. But their tendency is also to divide us, pitting tribe against tribe. These divisions impoverish each narrative into a cramped and ever more extreme version of itself.”

The discussion will be led by Dick Duda, who hopes that attendees will have a chance to read the article before the meeting.

Healing the Divide is a UUCPA group that formed after the 2016 election to ask: 1) what do we not understand about others with more conservative viewpoints, and 2) what can we learn that will help us communicate even across wide differences in belief.


Questions?  Please contact Susan Owicki at heal-the-divide+owner@uucpa.org

Hope to see you there!


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