TWO BOOKS

I’ve spent many decades wondering why people differ so about how to live together in society, and how we pick our political and social leaders.  The current US president has me utterly perplexed — especially because conservative friends (many of whom profess to be Christian) helped elect this man who is willing to punish children for the economic crimes of their border-crossing parents, who pick our food and who empty patient bedpans.       ¶¶¶¶
The author of the first of these books gives a deeply satisfying explanation.  His is a fine volume on moral pyschology, by an awakened liberal who has grown a bit more conservative, and now sees and explains the mistakes of the left.  The book is The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (2012).  I’ve been aware of his book for several years, and remember reading an extract prior to Trump’s election.  It is written in a very accessible fashion, using readily-grasped analogies, and he summarizes each chapter at chapter’s end.  One chapter titled “The Conservative Advantage” is especially revealing.  We simply are talking past each other, for reasons he makes very clear.  ¶¶¶¶
The second book is new, and I reviewed it for Amazon.  There is a quote in this one which may hint at a promise of a more collegial future :  “What is beautiful about the ugly Mr. Trump?  Something profoundly beautiful might emerge among those who come together to defend themselves and their nation from his malignant narcissitic machinations — something so consequential that we might one day remember Trump almost fondly, seeing him as the divisive toxin that vaccinated our social immune system, helping America emerge into a higher, healthier wholeness.”  (While this may not sound collegial, it comes near the end of the book, after lengthy discussion of how to listen, and reason together.)    ¶¶¶¶
It is best to read this one as a subsequent volume to Professor Haidt’s book.  I intend to donate a copy of Haidt’s book to Mérida English Library, in the near future.  Here’s a peek at the cover of Patten’s book, and a link to my review:

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