76 minutes | Jul 23rd 2018

The most important idea for understanding American politics in 2018

America is changing. A majority of infants are, for the first time in US history, nonwhite — and the rest of the population is expected to follow suit in the coming decades. The number of religiously affiliated Americans is at a record low, and the share of foreign-born residents is at a historically high level. What happens to a country amid this kind of demographic change and strain? What does it do to our politics, to our identities, to our worldview? I’ve come to believe that you can’t understand politics in America right now without understanding these changes and how they act on us psychologically. And to understand these changes, you need to talk to Yale psychologist Jennifer Richeson, who has done pioneering work on the way perceptions of demographic threat and change affect people’s political opinions, voting behavior, and ideas about themselves. I believe this is one of the most important conversations I’ve had on this podcast for understanding America today — and I also know it’s just the start of trying to understand these questions. Enjoy. Recommended books: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson (who was also on EKS) Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America by Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics by Ryan Enos

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