Them – Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal

Ben Sasse | 2018
Posted in: Bridging Divides
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Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who is often referred to as a moderate Republican, published this book just after the Kavanaugh hearings and used that confrontation between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and across the country to say, “We really don’t like each other, do we?” Sasse explains why American politics has become so tribalistic and vicious and makes recommendations for reconciliation. He is not optimistic that we can be more civil with one another in the short term and attributes growing political antagonism and “partisan tribalism” in part to what he calls “polititainment”-political news that values entertainment over facts. 

More importantly though, Sasse is concerned with a general atomization of society. This refers to the tendency for society to be made up of a collection of self-interested and largely self-sufficient individuals, operating as separate atoms. Atomization destroys the social bonds that are essential for a human sense of fulfillment.