Volcanoes are erupting in The Philippines, but on-fire Australia received some welcome rain. The Iran war cries have been called off and The Donald’s military powers are about to be hamstrung by the Senate. Meanwhile, his impeachment trial is starting, and we’re all on Twitter for a front-row seat.
With the US election just days away, philosophy professor Robert B. Talisse wants us to ask ourselves, are we overdoing democracy? In this interview, Talisse explains his diagnosis and cure for the political polarization ailing the country. The spaces in which we interact with our fellow citizens, he says, have become more and more politically homogenous, down to the cafes we choose to visit and the person we choose to marry. This has led to a phenomenon called belief polarization, in which we start to see the “other side” not as rational opinion- and perspective-holders but as benighted, unpatriotic, and even dangerous individuals. As a result, our politics has become dysfunctional—we are overdoing democracy. But there are steps we can take to fix the problem; namely, desaturating environments like family get-togethers and social media from politics altogether. In Talisse’s view, this will not only make us better democratic citizens, but also better able to achieve our personal political goals.