"Red" vs. "Blue" Name calling? We can do better than that.

As we approach another election in the US where hearing cries of “Red” vs. “Blue” become unavoidable, I’m increasingly convinced that such labels are unhelpful substitutes for thought and actually engaging with other people and ideas.

I’ve been listening to Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Living”, as well as his podcast lately. Yes, per Wikipedia Jordan Peterson can be labeled a

 Canadian media personality, clinical psychologist, author, and
 professor ... public intellectual .. conservative ... classic
 British liberal ... traditionalist

but in listening to him, I am coming more strongly to the option that labels such as “conservative” or “liberal” are just intellectual crutches people use to avoid thinking, to avoid engaging with ideas and people, to label people in “us” and “them” categories such as “Red” and “Blue”, and to cluster together into tribal groups. The result is we reject our fellow human beings out of hand and we are all worse off for doing so.

I’m only two chapters in, but his “12 Rules For Living” is already both an interesting story and one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve read in a long time. He draws on his experience as clinical psychologist dealing with broken people, his own experience growing up in a small oil town in northern Alberta, Canada (teenagers cruising a small town, drunken parties, long dark nights), and along the way walks through the story in Genesis 1-3 with the eyes of a psychologist answering the question why we take care of other people, even our pets, better than we do ourselves (Hint 1: we’re all deeply messed up and we are all to aware of this. Hint 2: The whole “Red” vs. “Blue” thing and the tribal identity around it is in fact a proxy for a deeper human need for meaning)

Even two chapters in, I’d recommend it

#34 of #100DaysToOffload take 2.1, https://100daystooffload.com/