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Heal our Division

Author: Heal our Division

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Each week, I host an open conversation with someone at the center of today’s most pressing political and social issues. No questions are off limits, so long as discourse remains civil even when disagreeing. Guests receive questions from an impartial host, freely speak their minds without interruptions, and are challenged to consider perspectives far different than their own. Things may get contentious at times, but the end goal is always the same. Find a mutual understanding with one another, identify solutions, and demonstrate that we can heal our division as Americans despite our differences. Left, right, center, or independent - I invite you to join me as we work to heal the division in our country, one honest conversation at a time.
19 Episodes
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How can Americans go beyond their bubble and connect across the political divide? It’s April 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Tania Israel, a Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In August 2020, Tania released her book Beyond Your Bubble, a practical, politically neutral book that offers concrete skills for holding meaningful conversations that cut across today's intense political divide, showing readers how to connect to the people in their lives. The book was featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ted Talks, and NBC’s The Today Show among other media outlets. In this episode we discuss how to improve active listening during contentious conversations, why face-to-face dialogue is so important, the key takeaways from the political workshops Tania hosts, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join us with an open mind as we work to heal the division on going beyond your political bubble.
How does dark money influence US politics? It’s March 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Karl Evers-Hillstrom, a money-in-politics reporter for OpenSecrets.org, an organization describing themselves as the most comprehensive, nonpartisan money-in-politics resource around. Karl has been part of the team since October 2018 with a specific focus in the area of dark money. In this episode we discuss how dark swayed our 2020 elections, why the amount of dark money donations is exponentially growing, reasons for some billionaires and corporations to disguise their political donations, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join us with an open mind as we work to heal the division on dark money influence in US politics.
Should the public trust COVID-19 vaccines? It’s March 2021, and Americans are divided. The voice you just heard is Dr. Nishant Joshi, an Accident and Emergency doctor. Both him and his wife, also a doctor, have made British national headlines stating that, for healthcare workers, “everyone is scared to speak up publicly” and highlighting the government’s “chaotic” guidelines for healthcare workers on the front line of the crisis. He’s since become an outspoken advocate for trusting and receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. In this episode we discuss whether vaccinations were rushed, if employees can be forced to get vaccinated, we evaluate the response of government officials, identify what herd immunity means, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join with an open mind as we work to heal the division on COVID vaccination public trust.
Were hedge funds at fault for the Gamestop short squeeze? It’s February 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Joel Block, a 25 year veteran of the venture capital, private equity, and hedge fund worlds who addresses audiences from Silicon Valley venture firms to Wall Street bankers on matters of capital formation. In 2012, Joel formed the Bullseye Capital Fund, a real estate hedge fund. In this episode we discuss the role of hedge funds, the sincerity of the Robinhood CEO’s response, whether Reddit Wall Street Bets is guilty of market manipulation, if the stock market is an uneven playing field, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join with an open mind as we work to heal the division on the Gamestop short squeeze.
How is political division directly contributing to the climate change crisis? It’s February 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Bill Shireman, a social entrepreneur, environmental policy innovator, and rare San Francisco Republican. He brings together people from all sides of the political spectrum. His latest book is ‘In This Together: How Republicans, Democrats, Capitalists, and Activists are Uniting to Tackle Climate Change and More’. In this episode we discuss how Republicans and Democrats unknowingly align with one another, tips for avoiding partisan echo chambers, his recommended politically neutral news sources, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join with an open mind as we work to heal the division on climate change.
Should school districts be opened across America for in-person learning? It’s February 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Stephanie Edmonds. She’s a public school teacher in New York City and co-founder of the #Teachers4OpenSchools movement, which advocates for safe in-person learning for all students and teachers. Not everyone feels the same; teachers from school districts across the nation are protesting returns back to the classroom. In this episode we discuss whether these protests have merit, who should be setting the return criteria, we evaluate virtual vs. in-person learning, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join with an open mind as we work to heal the division on whether to reopen school districts for in-person learning.
How do we treat the symptoms of America’s political hatred today? It’s January 2021, and Americans are divided. My recurring guest today is Dr. René Levy, the primary influence for me launching this podcast. He’s received the highest award given by the American Epilepsy Society in recognition of contributions to the field. After the 2016 election, Dr. Levy applied his knowledge towards writing ‘Mending America’s Political Divide: What Science Tells Us About Solving The Political Hatred Between The Left and The Right’. In the second of our two-part series, Dr. Levy will treat the symptoms of America’s political divide as he would for a medical patient after first providing the diagnosis. We discuss whether political affiliations are genetic, if the bipartisan system is still effective, how to successfully engage with someone of opposing political views, and more. So whether you agree or disagree with today’s guest, I invite you to join me with an open mind as we heal the division by treating the political hatred in America today.
Are masks effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19? It’s January 2021, and Americans are divided. My first guest today is Rod Eccles, the outspoken host of the conservative radio talkshow “The Rod Eccles Show”. It’s become a favorite for military members around the world. My second guest is Panagis Galatsatos, a critical care medicine physician for Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He also serves as the Co-Chair of Health Equity and Co-Director of Medicine for the Greater Good at Johns Hopkins. In this episode we discuss inconsistent mask-wearing policies, if lockdowns should continue, how hospitals are operating, and more. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s guests, I invite you to join with an open mind as we work to heal the division on COVID-19 masks.
How do we diagnose America’s political hatred today? It’s January 2021, and Americans are divided. My guest today is Dr. René Levy, the primary influence for me launching this podcast. Not a psychologist or political scientist, Dr. Levy serves as the Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington in Seattle where he served as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics for 26 years. His interest in neuroscience results from his work in the field of epilepsy, where he’s received the highest award given by the American Epilepsy Society in recognition of lifetime accomplishment and contributions to the field. After the 2016 election, Dr. Levy wrote ‘Mending America’s Political Divide: What Science Tells Us About Solving The Political Hatred Between The Left and The Right’. This was to provide the reader not trained in science with an understanding of the new tribalism-hatred condition that leads to a practical solution. After becoming one of those readers last summer, I took the first steps to start Heal our Division. In the first of two episodes, Dr. Levy will diagnose the symptoms of America’s political divide as he would for a medical patient. In the second he’ll provide the treatment. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division by diagnosing the political hatred in America today.
Are 5G networks dangerous to human health? It’s January 2021, and some Americans are divided. My first guest today is Patrick, a former science teacher and resident in Northern Sweden who argues that 5G is indeed dangerous. Of the opposing view is my second guest, David Robert Grimes. David is a physicist, cancer researcher, and science writer for outlets including the Guardian, the Irish Times, and the BBC. He was joint winner of the 2014 Nature & Sense About Science Maddox Prize for standing up for science. His book ‘The Irrational Ape’ is available wherever books are sold. In this episode we discuss the Nashville Christmas bomber, attacks on 5G towers, transhumanism and more. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on whether 5G networks are dangerous.
Was there voter fraud in the 2020 United States Presidential Election? It’s December 2020, and Americans are divided. After the 2020 United States presidential election in which Joe Biden won the Electoral College, the presidential campaign for Donald Trump pursued an aggressive effort to challenge the results of the election. With more than fifty lawsuits, the Trump legal team alleged conspiracy, rigged voting machines, and polling place fraud that altered the outcome of the election. My guests today are Joe Mobley and Nick. Joe is a former military veteran, holds a Masters in Homeland Security, consults and works alongside law enforcement, and is current host of The Joe Mobley show, a weekly talk show discussing being conservative in America today. Nick requested to remain anonymous, but described the opportunity to have this conversation as the perfect opportunity falling on his lap. While emotions on this issue are still high across the country more than 6 weeks after the election, Nick and Joe are highly inquisitive and eager to hear one another’s perspective on the matter. In fact, after the episode Joe noted how impressed he was with Nick’s poise and invited him on as a guest to his own podcast. I hope you’ll appreciate how they engage one another over the next 45 minutes. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on whether there was voter fraud in the 2020 US Presidential Election.
What is the current state of race relations in America? It’s December 2020 and Americans are divided. According to Pew Social Trends in October 2020: The public is about evenly split on whether the increased focus on issues of race in the country will lead to major policy changes to address racial inequality (48% say it will and 51% say it will not). And while a majority say the heightened attention to racial issues represents a change in the way most Americans think about these issues, just 34% say this represents a major change. My guests today are  Dr. Kasey Lynn and Brittany. Dr. Kasey Lynn earned a PhD in Values-Driven Leadership from Benedictine University and joined the Ferris State University’s College of Business, teaching Ethics, Strategy, and Management.​ She has over twenty-five years of professional experience including serving as Director of Global Menu Strategy for McDonald’s Corporation and will be releasing her own book next year on her perspective of achieving goals. Brittany has her Masters from NYU, is a critical writer for publications like The Republic, Daily Beast and Tablet Mag. She hosts her own podcast "#American Shade w/ Brittany King", now available wherever you listen to podcasts. In this episode we discuss how much of Martin Luther King’s vision for America has been fulfilled, critical race theory in education, if racism can actually be ended, and more. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on race relations in 2020 America.
Should American cities defund their police departments? It’s December 2020 and Americans are divided. The "defund the police" slogan became common during the George Floyd protests starting in May 2020. Black Lives Matter and other activist movements have used the phrase to call for police budget reductions and to delegate certain police responsibilities to other organizations. Public opinion on how to address these requests have been mixed. My guests today are Chris, who has served as a police officer since the 1990s and Michael Thomas Carter, who has worked on Bernie Sanders' 2016 primary campaign, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 2018 primary campaign, and Julia Salazar's 2020 primary campaign. We touch on how cops should react towards verbal hostility, if body cameras keep officers accountable, where funding would be reallocated, and more. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on defunding the police.
Has the Black Lives Matter movement been helping the African American community? It’s November 2020 and Americans are divided. While the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, it returned to international headlines in May 2020 following the death of George Floyd. With an estimated 15 to 26 million people participating in demonstrations this year, scholars estimate that BLM may be the largest civil movement in US history. How does this impact the African American community moving forward and what are the benefits? My guests today are Lauren, a university student in the state of Texas and member of the Arlington Urban news platform and Colton, a conservative media member by career of 5+ years since graduating from university. We touch on whether Democrats are sincere in their support for BLM, prison reform during the Trump administration, where donation money goes, and more. Despite their different political stances, today’s guests quickly identify their shared opinions and collaborate to address solutions for America’s future. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Is it okay to kneel during the National Anthem? It’s November 2020 and Americans are divided. Since August 2016, some American athletes have protested against police brutality and racism by kneeling on one knee during the U.S. national anthem. Some observers have described the protests as  patriotic and have praised the players' social awareness. Others have criticized the attention given to social issues during sporting events, and called the protests disrespectful and tone deaf. Four years later, the controversy remains. My guests today are Andreea, a long-time Texas resident and football fan who is no longer watching due to the protests, and Shereen, a Los Angeles sports writer for "In the Front Row" who works directly with athletes and coaches for a living. We touch on race relations in 2020 America, Colin Kaepernick, the origin of the star spangled banner, and more. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on the National Anthem protests.
Is Antifa an idea or an organization? It’s November 2020, and Americans are divided. This question was one of the most contested subjects during the 2020 Presidential race after Joe Biden described Antifa as an idea during the first debate. Was he right? Regardless of who is serving as President, the question will remain. My guests today are Kim, who argues Antifa is an organization and Ariana, who argues Antifa as an idea. As you’ll notice, both start by acknowledging that their political leanings have noticeably shifted over time. While things got somewhat heated and I had to interject at one point, you’ll see that with patience and an open mind we were able to work through it and end on what was a very uplifting note.  So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on the definition of Antifa.
Should social media companies be regulated by governments? It’s November 2020 and Americans are divided. This question has returned to the forefront of public debate in late 2020. Netflix released ‘The Social Dilemma’ in September, an eye-opening but troubling documentary about the dangerous human impact from using social media. The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google testified to the United States Congress in late October on hate speech, misinformation, and liability of user content. Twitter blocked the New York Post’s account for 16 days over a series of disputed stories on Hunter and Joe Biden’s foreign business affairs. This ignited accusations of anti-conservative and anti-Trump bias leading up to the Presidential Election. My guests today are Nick, a Minnesota resident with a Sales & Marketing background and Bronwyn, a Johannesburg South Africa resident who writes on “futurenomics” related topics. I hope you’ll find value in hearing a non-American perspective knowing that the social media regulation debate spans far beyond US borders. While each guest differs on whose ultimately accountable for creating these issues, both are aligned that something needs to change. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on whether to regulate social media companies.
Vote 2020: Trump or Biden?

Vote 2020: Trump or Biden?

2020-11-1101:07:28

Trump or Biden? It’s November 2020 and Americans are divided. Today’s episode was recorded before Election Day. You might already know who the next President is, but the questions still linger. What led people to vote the way they did? Why is there such a discrepancy in how different states of our country vote? How do we proceed regardless of who won? My guests today are Niki, a Trump supporter from South Carolina and Rachel, a Biden supporter from the greater Chicago area. Both are in very different stages of their lives and support very different candidates, but I think you’ll quickly see that they share a lot more common ground than they might have expected. As we wrapped up, Niki even described the conversation to me as cathartic. So with no further ado, I invite you to join me as we heal the division on the 2020 United States Presidential Election.
America is deeply divided. When it comes to political division, 74 percent of Americans labeled the country as very divided. There is little difference among the political parties, with 96 percent of Republicans and 91 percent of Democrats agreeing. The same poll also found that 59 percent of Americans are pessimistic that people with different political views can come together to solve problems. Only 38 percent feel optimistic.Polls aside, this division isn’t hard to see. Just turn on the nightly news, refresh your social media feed, or sit down at the dinner table and you’ll probably notice it too. We’re more connected, yet more polarized than ever before. So what exactly are we doing wrong?Our current political discourse is doing us any favors. 10 minute tv segments before cutting to a commercial break aren’t working. Neither are debates limited to 280 characters at a time. Podcasts are enjoyable, but perhaps because we usually choose the ones that validate our own beliefs and opinions.My name is Kevin MacPherson, and I feel that there must be a better way. Our political echo chambers can’t continue if we want to make true progress in our country. As a result, I started the Heal our Division Podcast.Each week, I host an open conversation between opposing views on today’s biggest political topics and social issues. Anything goes, so long as discourse remains civil even when disagreeing. Guests freely speak their minds without interruptions, ask questions, and get access to a perspective far different than their own. Things may get heated at times, but the end goal is always the same. Find a mutual understanding with one another, identify solutions, and demonstrate that we can heal our division as Americans despite our differences.Left, right, center, or independent - I invite you to join me as we work to heal the division in our country, one honest conversation at a time.
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