Jonathan Haidt Is Making an strive to Heal The USA’s Divisions
The psychologist shares his thoughts on the pandemic, polarization, and politics.
Contributing author at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
Over the previous decade, nobody has added more to my working out of how we trust, focus on, and debate politics and faith than Jonathan Haidt.
I first linked with Haidt in 2012, after I wrote a blog submit for Commentary in accordance to an interview correct by which Haidt discussed his e-book The Gracious Mind: Why Lawful Folks Are Divided by Politics and Religion. “It’s extremely easy to space the common arguments, hypocrisy, and double standards of those with whom I disagree,” I wrote. “It’s worthy more durable to seem them in myself.” I then posed a series of questions: How originate are we to persuasion, to new proof, and to maintaining up our views to refinement and revision? How make we react when our arguments appear to be falling apart? And what steps make we hang to be particular that we don’t insulate ourselves to the level that we’re detached to details that downside our worldview?
These questions had been correct within the wheelhouse of Haidt, the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Management at Fresh York College’s Stern College of Industry. He wrote me an encouraging gift after my article change into as soon as printed; two years later, we met in particular person for the first time.
Haidt’s writing and interviews, and our conversations, like clarified for me why we’re so tempted to encompass ourselves with only love-minded other folks and sketch those with whom we disagree. He has helped me designate why mental honesty is so elusive, why our divisions speed so deep, and what steps now we must hang to beat the antipathy that characterizes so worthy of favorite politics. He’s also a mannequin of what it draw to be a public mental.
Over the years, our acquaintance has grown correct into a friendship, and I belief Haidt to manufacture sense of the cases correct by which we live. So within the midst of this deeply unsettled 2nd in American existence, when we’re dealing with both polarization and a plague, I reached out to him.
IBEGAN THE INTERVIEW by asking Haidt to deem on what COVID-19 is revealing about American society, whether or no longer it would procedure us closer together or push us farther apart, and the highest draw we’d leverage this 2nd into bigger social cohesion and harmony. The ideal draw to attract this demand of, he replied, is to hunt recordsdata from on the trajectory of American democracy correct by the final decade and a half of or so.
Spherical 2008, Haidt grew to change into an increasing kind of alive to by how politically polarized The USA change into as soon as changing into, and polarization has only worsened correct by the final dozen years. “I’ve gotten an increasing kind of fearful yearly since then,” he knowledgeable me, “and there are several inclinations which would be very stressful,” including the rise of “affective polarization,” or the mutual loathe and detest every political side feels for different. “When there’s so worthy hatred, a democracy can’t work correct,” he acknowledged. “You’d also’t get compromise. You get precisely the possibility that the Founders feared, that [James] Madison wrote about in Federalist 10, which is faction, which is other folks care more about defeating different side than they make concerning the well-liked lawful.”
For a whereas now, Haidt has been announcing that if contemporary inclinations proceed, the United States can even come what would possibly perhaps per chance arrive apart—nonetheless he continuously adds that inclinations by no draw proceed perpetually. Issues alternate, often for the greater, often for the more serious; that you would possibly perhaps’t upright extrapolate from the bid. “When the COVID-19 crisis hit, at the beginning I change into as soon as very optimistic that no topic how detestable things get, there’s a accurate likelihood this can throw us off of the downward trajectory we had been on,” he acknowledged. “There’s a accurate likelihood that this can even very successfully be the reset button. In bid that’s the framework that I lift to all of my by the implications of this crisis for the country, that we had been headed in a extremely detestable direction and lots goes to alternate. And so I’m more hopeful now than I change into as soon as before—nonetheless that isn’t announcing worthy.”
Social media the truth is presents a megaphone to the extremes, so it’s very onerous to snatch what most other folks the truth is narrate. “And ought to you seek recordsdata from on the other folks which would be loudest on Twitter and in other locations, it’s quite determined that this pandemic is changing into upright one other tradition-war danger, where other folks on the left look what they are looking out to seem and other folks on the reliable look what they are looking out to seem.”
But Haidt pointed out that several surveys, including one in April by More in Frequent, uncover that the pandemic is having the fabricate of unifying make that foremost crises tend to love. Feelings in opposition to Donald Trump are almost perfectly polarized, as one would request. But on different principal questions, there’s no longer that worthy polarization. For instance, 90 percent of American citizens trust that “we’re all in it together,” when compared to upright 63 percent within the plunge of 2018. The half of American citizens who explain the country as “unified” has grown from Four percent in 2018 to 32 percent as of late, whereas the percentage of American citizens who regard the country as “very divided” has dropped from sixty two percent to upright 22 percent. Different polls uncover that the divide between Republicans and Democrats on social-distancing measures isn’t all that incredible.
“When we seek recordsdata from on the reports of correct beauty versus correct depravity, it completely appears to be like love there are draw more reports of correct beauty accessible than correct depravity,” Haidt acknowledged. “So what I feel is occurring is that the most politically active American citizens are upright incorporating this into their preexisting tradition war, nonetheless most American citizens appear to be having a surge of well-liked sentiment, of prosocial feeling. We’re all going by identical experiences on the identical time, which has customarily came about before. So I’m serene hopeful.”
Hopeful, nonetheless no longer naive. Finally, traditionally pandemics like tended to separate societies apart rather than lift them together, since they mix isolation with danger of others. After which you add Trump to the combo.
I asked Haidt how a rustic can unify within the face of a plague with a president love Trump, who’s so intentionally divisive. He answered, as he on the whole answers questions of this kind, by first making an train about human nature.
Folks are very lawful at pursuing their self-interest, Haidt acknowledged, nonetheless they’re also in a location to forget their slim self-interest and merge into bigger teams. “Yet they are very cautious about being exploited,” he added, “so we’re continuously making an strive for signs that the chief is real, is no longer a self-aggrandizer, is no longer exploiting us.” Leaders who create a scheme that we’re all in this together and uncover correct leadership can serve us overcome our variations and unite us.
No longer so the Forty fifth president. “The psychologists I spoke to before Trump change into as soon as elected overwhelmingly acknowledged that the analysis they would possibly perhaps fabricate in accordance to what they noticed is narcissistic personality dysfunction,” Haidt acknowledged. “And I feel we’ve viewed that consistently since his election, that he tends to manufacture all the things about him. And in bid that’s neutral concerning the other of moral leadership, where it wants to be concerning the team and our shared interest. I don’t look worthy of an quite loads of of us the truth is coming together and overcoming our variations before the election. Or, on the whole, so long as Trump is terribly than enterprise.”
So what’s Haidt hoping for? The political an identical of Newton’s Zero.33 law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite response. Haidt put it this draw: “Since we already look signs that virtually all American citizens are exhausted by this tradition war, [my hope is] that this year or into subsequent year will be fabricate of a pit of despair or a pit of darkness—after which we’ll emerge from it.”
He continued, “I must read up on how the spiritual wars ended in Europe, nonetheless my 2nd- or thirdhand working out is that it wasn’t that Europeans reached some profoundly enlightened look; they upright got exhausted, they most frequently realized, , we’ve got to forestall this. And in bid that’s de facto my foremost offer of hope, that things are so detestable now and the truth that we are able to’t even confront a plague attributable to our polarization. We can’t half details, we are able to’t half solutions, we are able to’t coordinate behavior attributable to our polarization. I feel this can change into an increasing kind of determined.”
JONATHAN DAVID HAIDT change into as soon as born fifty six years ago in Fresh York Metropolis, and change into as soon as raised in Scarsdale in a liberal Jewish family. (His other folks had been the first know-how of their families to be born in The USA; his grandparents had been born in Russia and Poland, moved to the United States as kids, and worked within the garment industry.) He grew up “very assimilated,” he acknowledged, and with a love for science. He began to establish as an atheist by the level he change into as soon as 15.
He studied philosophy at Yale, where, he knowledgeable me, “the zeitgeist change into as soon as very worthy politically modern, anti-Republican, anti-Reagan. And so I change into as soon as very moralistic, very self-worthwhile. I feel I change into as soon as angry within the midst of the ’80s, or on the least in a fabricate of a shallow, political draw. And so I feel I wasn’t a extremely attention-grabbing particular person intellectually or morally within the midst of the ’80s and within the midst of my young-adult years.”
In 1992, Haidt got his Ph.D. in psychology on the College of Pennsylvania, where he encountered several professors who had attention-grabbing things to claim about morality that, he acknowledged, “space me up to recall to mind a worthy broader correct enviornment.” But it completely change into as soon as the years correct now following Haidt’s time on the College of Pennsylvania that had been transformational. He spent two years on the College of Chicago working with Richard Shweder, an anthropologist, who change into as soon as his postdoctoral learn adviser. Shweder has a motto: If any individual asserts it, strive denying it and look if that is interesting. If any individual denies it, strive asserting it and look if that is interesting. “It’s a mountainous draw to beat confirmation bias and to strive on new solutions,” Haidt knowledgeable me. “Richard Shweder in declare upright blew my thoughts extensive originate.” The journey “the truth is changed me and ready me to step out of my prior politics, my prior moralism, my prior self-righteousness.”
Whereas he change into as soon as at Chicago, Haidt got a fellowship to gaze morality in India. In September 1993 he traveled to Bhubaneswar, within the Indian thunder of Odisha, where, among different things, he learned the vitality of rituals and of a dedication to spiritual purity as a technique to knit communities together. Whereas in India, Haidt “the truth is tried to designate a convention very different from my like, and within the technique, for the first time, I change into as soon as in a location to hunt recordsdata from at evangelical and conservative Christianity no longer as a power hostile to me as an atheist, a cosmopolitan, and a Jew, nonetheless as a right neighborhood striving for particular virtues—and I could perhaps designate those virtues and I could perhaps admire those virtues. It change into as soon as that mixture that the truth is drained me of my anger and hostility and, I feel, helped me to upright listen to other folks and strive and design out what [they are] aiming for. What are the virtues they’re looking out to instill? What’s the vision of the lawful that they are pursuing? Without that month, or without that length, I don’t narrate I ever would possibly perhaps like written The Gracious Mind or been of worthy employ in studying a convention war.”
HAIDT CONSIDERED HIMSELF a partisan liberal by the mid-2000s, nonetheless a key 2nd took place in a old kind book place in Fresh York Metropolis upright a month after John Kerry had been defeated by George W. Bush.
In preparation for teaching a graduate seminar within the spring of 2005 on political psychology, Haidt read an introductory essay by the historian Jerry Muller in a e-book Muller edited, Conservatism: An Anthology of Social and Political Opinion From David Hume to the Demonstrate. All of a unexpected, a whole new world unfolded. Haidt realized that conservatives had some principal insights to produce on human nature, the rate of institutions, and the significance of correct capital. He felt conservatism equipped a principal counterbalance to the excesses of progressivism. He also came to love the pedigree of conservatism, from the writings of parents love Edmund Burke within the 18th century to Thomas Sowell within the twentieth. (Haidt knowledgeable me he considers himself to be a centrist, taking part with views from a few sides in express to designate concerns. But he’s a centrist who only ever votes for Democrats, on account of he thinks the Republican Secure together has been in a thunder of correct and philosophical decline for a range of years.)
Haidt laments the thunder of up-to-the-minute American politics, believing that on both the reliable and the left we’re seeing populism that responds to accurate concerns nonetheless in intolerant ways. “On the reliable,” he acknowledged, “the populism there is de facto explicitly xenophobic and on the whole explicitly racist … I feel we glance strands of populism on the reliable which would be authoritarian, that I could perhaps train are incompatible with a tolerant, pluralistic, originate democracy.”
Taking a seek recordsdata from in numerous direction, Haidt says, “we’ve messed up the observe liberal and we’ve old kind it to upright mean ‘left.’ I’ve continuously thought of myself as a liberal, within the John Stuart Mill sense. I trust in a society that’s structured to give other folks the utmost freedom to hold lives that they are looking out to live. We employ on the least constraint, we rate openness, creativity, person rights. We strive onerous to maximise spiritual liberty, economic liberty, liberty of sense of right and incorrect, freedom of speech. That’s my ideal of a society, and that’s why I name myself a liberal.”
But on the left, Haidt acknowledged, “there’s been a movement that has made one thing else sacred, that has no longer centered on liberty, nonetheless that’s centered as a replacement on oppression and victimhood and victimization. And while you get correct into a framework of seeing your fellow electorate as lawful versus unsuitable in accordance to their neighborhood, it’s fabricate of a deem image of the authoritarian populism on the reliable. Any movement that’s assigning correct rate to other folks upright by making an strive at them is a movement I prefer no segment of.”
Haidt went on: “I feel that is a principal level for us to all hang into story, that left and correct in this country are no longer basically liberal and conservative anymore. On the left, it’s the truth is determined that there are parts that quite about a us preserve in thoughts to be very intolerant; and on the reliable, it’s onerous to seem how Trump and quite about a his supporters are conservatives who like any hyperlink in anyway to Edmund Burke. It’s very onerous for me to seem that. , I could perhaps love to live in a rustic with upright liberals and upright conservatives that eradicate with every different. That, I feel, is a extremely productive disagreement. But it completely’s the illiberalism on both side that’s making our politics so grisly, I trust.”
SHIFTING FROM POLITICS to faith, I knowledgeable Haidt that, given his well-liked temperament—he’s a man who prizes epistemological humility—I stumbled on it shocking that he regarded as himself an atheist, albeit a low-wattage one, rather than an agnostic. I asked him why he identified as an atheist.
“I feel of myself as an atheist, upright meaning I don’t trust that there is a God, nonetheless it’s no longer a segment of my identification that I feel that,” Haidt acknowledged. “Right here’s what I could perhaps train to preserve firm with that: I’m an atheist who believes that faith is segment of human nature, is on the whole a lawful segment of human nature, and a extremely principal segment of who we’re and the highest draw we grew to change into a civilized species.” He added that he change into as soon as very influenced by the sociological literature on the effects of faith, on the least within the United States, and especially a e-book by Robert Putnam and David Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.
“It’s very determined that whenever you occur to’re segment of a spiritual neighborhood [in America], you generate more social capital, you’re more prosocial,” Haidt outlined. “I narrate I’ve fallen correct into a job of an atheist who’s the other of a Fresh Atheist. In point of fact, I got into some arguments with the Fresh Atheists on account of I change into as soon as defending faith against some of their expenses.”
Haidt has been invited to focus on to varied Christian organizations and universities and has “stumbled on a level of commonality.” “I’m continuously up entrance that I’m an atheist,” he outlined, “nonetheless I train to them: I accept as true with you that there is a God-fashioned gap in all people’s heart.” That line reflects the feelings expressed by Saint Augustine, and Blaise Pascal in his Pensées. “You and I disagree on how it got there. I’m a naturalist; I trust that we progressed to be spiritual. A segment of being human is believing in gods and worshipping and having a scheme of the sacred. And I feel now we like a need, now we like a gap in our heart, I trust it got there by evolution, it got there naturally, and it’s miles successfully stuffed by God for most other folks. It ought to also moreover be stuffed by different things. But I feel it wants to be stuffed by one thing—and whenever you occur to enable it empty [people] don’t upright feel an vacancy. A society that has no sense of the sacred is one correct by which you’ll like quite about a anomie, normlessness, loneliness, hopelessness.”
IN THE LATE 1990s, Martin Seligman, recurrently regarded because the founding father of crawl psychology, argued that psychology centered an inordinate quantity of attention on the dark side of human nature and the human thoughts. He believed that it wanted to flip more of its attention to what makes for an emotionally healthy and good existence, to what ends in human flourishing, to what makes existence rate living. So I asked Haidt, an admirer of Seligman’s work, concerning the psychology of happiness, which change into as soon as the realm of Haidt’s 2006 e-book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Popular Truth in Frail Knowledge. Particularly, I inquired concerning the principal role of relationships within the pursuit of happiness.
Haidt knowledgeable me the proof shows us that “when we get what we prefer, we hasty adapt to that. The satisfaction is terribly short lived, surprisingly short lived, and we the truth is get more happiness from making progress in opposition to our targets than we make from achieving them.” He went on to argue that “modernity has given us extra special wealth, non-public rooms, the capacity to be alone perpetually if we prefer. And what we uncover, the more we fabricate progress, is a rising spiritual starvation. We’ve viewed rising rates of wretched gradually for the reason that 2d World Battle. There’s one thing that’s no longer quite good about modernity and trendy existence. I feel it all begins to manufacture sense ought to you designate that we evolve as ultra-social creatures with wants to be segment of a tight neighborhood. We’re relational creatures; now we must like lawful family between [ourselves] and others. No man is an island. We can’t the truth is be chuffed alone. We prefer lawful relationships to be chuffed.”
Haidt acknowledged we’re also geared in opposition to productivity—that we get mountainous pleasure from making one thing occur within the field. “You look this even from infants,” he acknowledged. “A bit of one who discovers that by moving her head she can fabricate a cell switch, it’s thrilling.” So we’ve got to get the reliable family between ourselves and others, between ourselves and our work.
“We have to love some sense that we’re making progress, we’re doing one thing, we’re contributing one thing, we’re making one thing.” This fits, Haidt knowledgeable me, what Freud reportedly acknowledged when he change into as soon as asked about what contributes to lawful mental successfully being: “Lieben und arbeiten”—love and work.
But there’s one different home Haidt mentioned within the context of happiness: motive and meaning. “These that earn a technique to be segment of one thing bigger than themselves, which would be segment of a apt neighborhood that’s pursuing some crawl and virtuous pause—this brings us to the very ideal stages of human satisfaction, the sense that our lives are meaningful, are rate living. I feel spiritual other folks, people of an active spiritual neighborhood, like a worthy simpler time of that … And for atheists or secular other folks, it’s more durable. This helps bid one in all the well-liked findings in crawl psychology, that in well-liked other folks which would be segment of a spiritual neighborhood are happier than other folks which would be no longer.”
Haidt continued: “Of the most fundamental moral theories, I feel advantage ethics the truth is fits human nature the handiest and I feel ends within the happiest existence.”
AS HE WAS WRITING The Gracious Mind and discovering how edifying it change into as soon as to read conservative intellectuals, Haidt acknowledged, “I felt love my thoughts change into as soon as opening on account of I change into as soon as uncovered to different viewpoints that I had rejected for my whole existence, whereas there change into as soon as a rising depth of the American tradition war and it change into as soon as the truth is affecting my field of social psychology. I started to peep that any dialogue about gender or LGBT concerns or bustle, there change into as soon as within a neighborhood of lecturers, a neighborhood of professors, who within the midst of my occupation had been in a location to focus on things—impulsively it change into as soon as love there change into as soon as a new power field coming in and it felt love that you would possibly perhaps’t uncover that. You’d also’t train that. You’d also’t elevate an replacement interpretation of this recordsdata space. There’s neutral one draw to interpret this correlation.”
It change into as soon as, in numerous words, an draw fully contrary to what his mentor on the College of Chicago had taught him. “This change into as soon as in my realizing upsetting to me,” he acknowledged. “I do know we are able to’t put solutions and hypotheses off-limits. We ought to be in a location to talk concerning the details and the tips and elevate alternate hypotheses.”
So when Haidt, who change into as soon as then teaching on the College of Virginia, change into as soon as invited to give a lecture on the annual meeting of social psychologists in 2011, he titled it “The Intellectual Scheme forward for Put up-Partisan Social Psychology.” Haidt envisioned a future correct by which universities would welcome a wider kind of solutions.
“I centered fully on the high quality of our science,” he acknowledged. “If we prefer psychology to be mountainous, now we must work to consist of alternate solutions on account of they’re lawful for us. Because they spoil us out of our confirmation bias, they spoil up our orthodoxy and groupthink, and I acknowledged we prefer conservatives in declare in social psychology and I confirmed that we had neutral one that I change into as soon as in a location to search out.”
Out of that talk ultimately emerged Heterodox Academy, which change into as soon as founded in 2015 by Haidt, Chris Martin, and Nicholas Rosenkranz. It has change into a fundamental organization, consisting of virtually Four,000 professors, directors, and college students, who are committed to selling originate inquiry, perspective diversity, and positive disagreement in elevated schooling. That dedication qualifies as controversial in as of late’s academy.
Haidt described to me the highest draw more radical, confrontational tradition on campus that has arisen within the final half of decade, a enviornment he explored in The Altantic in “The Coddling of the American Mind,” an essay he wrote on the side of Greg Lukianoff. “The downside got draw more serious on account of now the stress’s on professors and college students, the pressures to preserve within,” Haidt knowledgeable me. “They’ve a observe in Swedish, åsiktskorridor, the ‘realizing corridor,’ they name it: ‘Right here is where your opinions are allowed to be. You’d no longer step outside.’” Heterodox Academy is segment of a movement to enable other folks to step outside the slim realizing corridor, to downside prejudices and preconceptions, and to arrive serve the academy to at least one in all its core purposes.
I asked Haidt to articulate to me precisely why it’s principal that our prejudices and biases be challenged. “If you occur to positively are looking out to search out the truth—whenever you occur to’re a scientist or whenever you occur to’re working at, train, the Defense Intelligence Agency, where your job is de facto to search out the truth—that you would possibly perhaps like to beat every one’s most standard draw of thinking, which is, earn proof for why I’m correct,” he replied. “It is miles principal to beat that, and the single identified draw to beat confirmation bias is with different other folks. There’s been learn looking out to exclaim other folks to demand of their assumptions. No one’s stumbled on a scheme. It’s very onerous to exclaim other folks to make that. The single draw to make it’s miles to love any individual who doesn’t half your confirmation bias eradicate with you. That’s why the Catholic Church created the devil’s advocate. They actually acknowledged, ‘Your job is to search out reasons why we’re irascible.’”
I discussed to Haidt that in my journey it makes a colossal disagreement whenever you occur to can assign a respectful and even heat relationship with other folks with whom you disagree, which enables both other folks to critique different without feeling that both of you is beneath assault. When we feel we’re beneath assault, the armor goes up; the willingness to listen to the perspective of others goes down. If you occur to don’t like a within most relationship with any individual, I acknowledged, and also you are making an strive and eradicate in rigorous debate, significantly in this hyper-polarized political 2nd, it’s on the whole love taking pictures BBs against a brick wall. The arguments upright soar off.
Haidt agreed. “The connection issues bigger than the message. That’s why a university, especially one that contains a diversity of viewpoints, can even moreover be so principal—on account of you cultivate these relationships within a neighborhood that says our job is now to not eradicate, our job is to be taught. That’s why the uncover and especially Twitter are the worst locations for this, on account of you don’t like relationships and other folks strive and uncover how natty they are. They’re looking out to uncover how devoted they are to their team. So the fabricate of political engagement, the fabricate of public square that we get from social media, is on the whole frightful. And over again, that’s why I love universities so worthy and that’s what it change into as soon as for me. The cases I hang into story most are when my beliefs had been shredded and I change into as soon as confirmed new ways to narrate or given new ways to narrate.
“Does any individual the truth is narrate we’re going to eradicate other folks over by insulting them and spouting hatred in opposition to them?” he added. “Or are we going to eradicate them over by listening, one on one, as other folks, human to human, American to American?”
AT THE CONCLUSION of our interview, I asked Haidt what he hopes to make contributions to other folks’s working out, what he hopes to lift intellectually and morally to others.
“To serve other folks to step out of their correct matrices and flip down their correct condemnation of their fellow electorate,” he knowledgeable me. “The lesson from so many aged traditions, and from social psychology, is that we ought to be slower to pick out and quicker to forgive. You’d also’t be hating and studying on the identical time.”
For my segment, after I feel about what Haidt is making an strive to create, my thoughts goes serve to one in all most attention-grabbing speeches in American political historical previous. It change into as soon as delivered extemporaneously by Robert Kennedy on the night of April Four, 1968, after Martin Luther King Jr. change into as soon as assassinated. Speaking to a alarmed and grieving crowd in Indianapolis, Kennedy urged his listeners now to not be stuffed with hatred or distrust.
“What we prefer within the United States is no longer division,” Kennedy acknowledged. “What we prefer within the United States is no longer hatred; what we prefer within the United States is no longer violence or lawlessness; nonetheless love and wisdom, and compassion in opposition to every other, and a sense of justice in opposition to those that serene suffer within our country.”
After which Kennedy acknowledged this: “Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so a protracted time ago: to tame the savageness of man and fabricate light the lifetime of this world.”
In his like field, in his like draw, Jonathan Haidt is making an strive to heal our divisions and mood some of the detest, to amplify our wisdom and working out, and to lag us to uncover a limited bit more compassion in opposition to every other. Fancy the old Greeks, who first gave us the academy, he is making an strive to manufacture this world rather much less savage, a limited bit more light.
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a senior fellow on the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Egan visiting professor at Duke College. He writes broadly on political, cultural, spiritual, and national-security concerns, and he is the creator of