Pigs Can Fly: Cancel culture, conspiracies, and how to stay hopeful in an age of identity politics

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Are we really such a divided country?

You’ve heard me speak before about how our mindset—what we choose to focus on—determines the results we get. The more afraid and divided we feel, the more we tend to see fear and division in others. I wonder, can we actively cultivate peace and confidence in our own minds and hearts and call on our leaders to do the same?

Today on The Soul of Life I speak with Dr. Matthew Green, a professor of political science at Catholic University in Washington, DC, about cancel culture, conspiracies, and how to stay hopeful and connected to one another in an age of identity politics.

Dr. Green is an expert on the American Congress and I ask him if it’s possible to ever imagine our leaders practicing the discipline of relationship building and compromise in the political process.

Green says, “Compromise is central to how our country was created, it’s how we’ve lasted as long as we have. And you can’t really succeed in politics—particularly in Congress—if you don’t compromise.”

We touch on the history of identity politics, and political paranoia in its latest form, “cancel culture.”

Green recalls the Red Scare of the 1950s and we connect the dots of culture wars in the U.S. going back to Puritanism.

Can we stay focused on things that build our connection to our common goal of solving problems? Tune-in to this fascinating conversation to get our ideas for simple steps that can bring us closer to each other as citizens in this great union.

"It’s simply a wild west out there. There are too many people who believe what they’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They’re not checking their sources, and that’s not healthy. We need to have an informed public who really know what facts are—what is true and what’s disputable."

- Dr. Matthew Green

Matthew Green is an ordinary professor of politics and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.  He has taught at Catholic University since 2005.

Professor Green teaches a variety of courses in American politics, focusing in particular on political institutions, state and local politics, federalism, and methodology.  He is currently teaching a new course

Dr. Matthew Green

on current political events called Politics in the Age of Trump.  He also helped develop and has co-taught the class Washington Past and Present, an interdisciplinary introduction to the city of Washington, D.C. that is unique to Catholic University.

Green has written a number of books and articles about American politics.  His most recent book, Legislative Hardball (Cambridge University Press, 2019), examines the origins and influence of the House Freedom Caucus.  He is also a staff writer for Mischiefs of Faction, a blog about political parties, and his blog posts on other sites can be found here

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