Avowed communist and racial agitator Van Jones, who also serves as a regular contributor to CNN, typically takes the wrong side of any given issue. That said, we know what they say about broken clocks.
As host of “The Messy Truth” series on CNN, Jones offered a poignant observation regarding America’s oft-cited political division:
Donald J. Trump cannot heal our deepest wounds and Barack Obama could not heal our deepest wounds. George W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Wilson Reagan — none of our presidents has been able to heal these wounds and bring us together. So maybe, just maybe, the politicians can’t solve these problems, maybe we’re looking to the wrong people to bridge all these divides and to heal everything. Maybe it’s going to be up to “we the people” to step up ourselves and start fixing this ourselves and start reaching out to each other.
Amen. Much as we may yearn for a strong leader to come along and compel unity, there are limits to what one person can do, even in a position like the presidency. A culture emerges from hundreds of millions of interactions over weeks, months, and years. If we want to change the culture, it begins with those interactions.
Social media, though conceived as a means to foster connection, has contributed to our isolation. We self-select our social environments, crafting ideological bubbles which reinforce our worldview and make it easy to demonize those who disagree. Jones, while wrong on just about every issue, nonetheless retains enough insight to recognize this state of affairs as unsustainable. That’s the premise at the heart of “The Messy Truth,” an effort to understand issues at a deeper level. As viewers, we don’t have to agree with his conclusions to gain value from their consideration.