What to do when politics is consuming your life

In this excerpt from The Game Changer Mentality Podcast, Rodney Flowers interviews Peter Montoya about his book The Second Civil War and he asked Peter about his personal inspiration to write a book about our nation’s political divide.

So I wrote this book because of my dad. My dad has now since passed away. But my dad for the most the bulk of my the bulk of my life was completely and totally apolitical. He I didn’t even know a party he belonged to.

 

He never talked about politics. And then one day, a couple of years ago, all of a sudden, he started bringing to politics. And when he started bringing up politics, he was angry. You know, his brow was furrowed. His face got a little bit red.

 

And he was really impassioned about it. And he was kind of caught up in what we call a Manichean worldview. American worldview is where everything is good or evil, good or bad. No middle ground is everything was very, very divided.

 

It was kind of strange. It was at my house. And then I went over to his house one day for dinner. And I actually got there before he did. And his wife was there. I was sitting there talking with her that he came in.

 

He barely said hello. He sat down in front of the TV and he turned on cable news and he started watching cable news before he really engaged with me. And I go, does he normally do this? And she goes, yeah, this is pretty much his schedule.

 

He got in front of the TV. He sat in front of the TV and actually he fell asleep watching cable news. He woke up in the morning watching more cable news. He got in the car listening to what I would call hate radio.

 

And while he was driving to work in the morning, he was calling his wife, complaining about the stories he heard on the radio. And then when he was at work, all he would do was talk with his coworkers about how awful everything was happening around the world.

 

He became completely indoctrinated, engrossed into this world of politics. And it was awful. It was terrible. I basically lost my relationship with it. And I didn’t argue politics, but I lost my relationship with him because he wasn’t there anymore.

 

He wasn’t present anymore. He was in a completely different world. So I wanted to figure out what was going on.

 

OK, and so walk us through that, like what did you discover?

 

Yeah. So I think the first chapter in the book is called Politics is Our New Religion. And I’m not talking about religion as in one’s walk in faith to a higher power. I mean religion in the sense of a way of life.

 

And for some people, their religion is their family. For the people, the religion is Christianity. For the people, their religion, the surfboarding. And for a lot of Americans now, especially during the pandemic, there are new religion has become politics.

 

And so what we see now on TV is a version of reality, but it really isn’t reality. Roddie, I don’t know if you’re as old as I am to remember the late 80s. The late 80s is the last time I think we had real news journalism where news journalists came on.

 

I mean, they’ve told the truth and they try to get the facts right. And we also had these dramas. Are you old enough to remember Dynasty and Dallas?

 

Yeah, I remember.

 

These were these huge nighttime dramas. And we also had wrestling on Saturdays. Yeah. We as human beings like to exercise this kind of moral reasoning through these large archetypes of good versus evil. If you’ve watched Wrestling or Dallas or any of those shows, you have your kind of your gods and your demigods and your foot soldiers, and

 

you’ve got the people who are you’re kind of prognosticators. Your pastors explain what’s going on. All those people kind of exist in those worlds. And then what happened with the advent of cable news and the Internet? What happened is those worlds emerged.

 

And now we’re basically are exercising that same kind of Greek tragedy archetypes in our brain. We’re kind of exercising those watching the news. So all news today is basically being divided and it’s basically saying it’s good versus evil versus just giving us the information.

 

So I want to be informed and not influenced. And the news today, all it’s trying to do is influence us by helping us kind of manipulate these manichean archetypes in our brain.

 

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. Click the link in the description below.