Do you have an original idea in your head?
In this excerpt from the Coz Green Audio Experience Podcast, Coz Green interviews Peter Montoya about his latest book and they discuss potential solutions to our nation’s political division and the reasons why we believe what we believe.
When I was consuming news and I was doing it more on demand. I found it. I was watching news from England and Australia to see what the true perspective was not from within this camp of America, but to see how they were seeing it from the outside looking in.
I’ll tell you, was a completely different perspective, because we’re just in an echo chamber. And to your point, we find our tribe based on our vibe. And so. Who have a similar bias to just reinforce that bias. Right.
So in your book, you talk a lot about this problem. But let’s talk about the solution, because in the introduction, we talked about how your book can help us, actually. I don’t know if it’s be more forgiving, but at least more
tolerating of different opinions and actually men some of these relationships so that they can get healthy again. Let’s turn the switch and talk about not just the problem now, but the solution.
I’m so glad you asked, because most people what they think is, well, this problem will go away when the other side lays down their arms, when the other side changes. And if you know anything about leadership, you realize that’s a fallacy.
You cannot change what other people do. All you can do is change yourself. And so if you love the country. This is my prescription. I would recommend that you incur cost. And so I’m going to share with you a little bit of the insights into why you shouldn’t be so angry at people for holding political opinions that
you find horrible. And we probably have had people like that where we’ve heard people who have a political position like I did with my father in law, which was morally, morally reprehensible. And I was outraged by his opinion.
I thought, how could a man of such character hold these opinions? Why would he support this candidate with being of the quality that he is? And we have to understand, it doesn’t. People are not arguing about policy, and that’s not why they believe what they believe.
Here’s what it boils down to. We believe to belong. We are a herd animal. And what we must do in order we have protection by the herd is we got to be accepted and we get accepted when we assimilate.
So what we do is we do our very, very best to make sure that we look and talk and act like the tribe that we want to belong to. So let me give you this, this thought experiment.
Let’s say we found an isolated city of people of maybe a thousand people in some South American country, and there was no telecommunication and no roads and no roads and railways, no airports in or out. And we drop you into this civilization of about a thousand people.
And everyone there, they all wear white robes and they paint their faces red and they shake their heads. They speak a completely different language, different diet, different religious institutions, different political institutions, a completely different way of life. Now, let’s just say this is this is actually a real stretch.
Let’s say they accept you. They say that they have a moral philosophy such that they don’t murder the outsider, which is what we would have done 10000 years ago. We just would kill anybody who didn’t belong to our tribe.
Let’s just say that they’re actually accepting of you and they bring you in. How long would it take before you started dressing like them, painting your face red, shaving your head, learning their language, adopting their culture? How long before you assimilated not only in look, in dress, in costume, in language, but more importantly, by belief structure.
And the answer is a couple of years. Why? Because you’re very survival depends upon it. So we look in the United States, there are two major, two major tribes, the Democrats and the Republicans. And every member of those tribes believes sincerely that they have their own agency, that they are unique, freethinking people who determines their own opinions.
However, when you do any kind of polling in either one of those tribes, you’ll find that they all are belief packages, that large swaths have very similar beliefs about God, religion, guns, abortion, immigration. They all hold very, very similar beliefs down to the phrases that they use.
So, again, I’m making a massive generalization. And you’re thinking, well, Peter, that’s not me. I mean, I’m I’m a unique thinker and maybe you are. I’ve met very, very few of those. And that includes myself. I don’t put myself in that category.
What we do is we adopt the beliefs. These are tribal badges is what we call them all. Make sure that we are accepted and gain the approval and protection of our tribes. Morality doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. Logic does not matter.
You have gotten into an argument with somebody over a political issue, and you’re going the reasoning of how they got to. This doesn’t make sense. And you wonder how. And the reason is tribalism. A person let’s just say that there’s a community of people who don’t wear masks and they think that Covid is not nearly as bad
as it is and they don’t wear masks and you walk into a room wearing a mask. I’m going to be willing to bet you that you are going to be leaving that room or taking off your mask within a matter of minutes.
You will feel incredibly uncomfortable if you don’t assimilate to what everyone else is doing now. By the way, I’m not making any moral judgments, whether or not you should wear a mask and using it as an example. So you can actually empathize with the situation.
So the next time you’re looking at your brother, uncle, father, coworker, friend, and you’re sitting there wondering, oh, my gosh, how can they believe what they believe? What is going on with them? Understand, it is just our tribal nature.
And we are doing what is as instinctual to us as breathing. And that is to believe to belong.
Well, and you’re saying it so profoundly. There it is instinct. I mean, we’re not necessarily instinctive like a dog or other animals. But to your point, that’s a default. That’s an easy default to go to tribalism. And we see so much. Even memes that say that, you know, your vibe attracts your tribe.
Well, that’s never been more true, that a certain vibe does attract that tribe. And so it’s more divided than ever before.
If you are more committed to national unity than partisanship, please check out my book, The Second Civil War: A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation. My book will challenge you to improve your relationships with friends and family.
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