May 28, 2020 – 6:30 pm
Gallery Talk: Overcoming Partisan Politics
presented by Robert B. Talisse, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
Free to members; admission required for not-yet-members
U.S. citizens are no more divided over political policies than they were 25 years ago, yet we dislike our political rivals more than ever. In fact, citizens today are strongly inclined to see their political opposition as a threat to democracy itself. Meanwhile, as our country has become more diverse overall, the local spaces we inhabit in everyday life have grown intensely segregated along partisan lines. In the United States today, a surprising range of lifestyle choices—where we shop, how we spend weekends, how we decorate our homes, and even the size of our immediate family—are tightly correlated with our political ideals. It turns out that the intensification of political animosity is the product of the partisan sorting of social spaces. The result is democratically unsustainable. In this presentation, Robert Talisse reflects on Mel Ziegler: Flag Exchange in developing a conception of the democratic ideal that recognizes the legitimacy of deep political disagreement while nonetheless rising above partisanship.
An internationally recognized theorist of democracy, Talisse has lectured throughout the world about democracy, moral disagreement, political polarization, and the ethics of citizenship. Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place is his tenth book.