In his acceptance speech, Joe Biden called upon Americans to shelve the harsh rhetoric. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. All around the nation, people are calling for an end to the deep divide of political polarization. At the same time, many are acknowledging it might not be possible. People are angry and hurt. Some are even starting to ask whether it’s time for our nation to call it quits. There are campaigns in states including California and Texas to start divorce proceedings.
As a social psychologist who has spent the last 17 years studying romantic relationships, I cannot help seeing the parallels between our country and a marriage gone sour.
What our country needs is marital therapy.
There are many reasons our political relationship has hit the rocks, and as in any distressed relationship, the fix won’t be easy. But a national divorce really isn’t a viable option. Could we ever agree on how to split the assets? And who would get custody of Hawaii? I think we all know the islands need to be kept together. For the sake of our democracy, we have to figure out how to start listening to and respecting one another.
Read the full article at the Boston Globe.