Dad Saves America
Dad Saves America
Toxic Polarization, Civil War & Local Conversation

Toxic Polarization, Civil War & Local Conversation

Kristi Kendall, an accomplished television producer and filmmaker, and Ben Klutsey, Director of the Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, joined the show to discuss their new documentary film, Undivide Us. The film brings together people from diverse backgrounds to discuss highly contentious topics like gun control, abortion, and immigration, and dives into the pressing concerns of America's current political culture, exploring the risks of national division and the specter of civil unrest.

Kristi and Ben stress the significance of local community engagement, advocating for a decentralized approach to defusing toxic polarization. They challenge media narratives that present black-and-white stereotypes as representing average Americans across the political spectrum and highlight the importance of nuance and perspective. Classical liberal values of mutual respect and curiosity can pave the way for a more united America if we take them seriously.


Learn more about Undivide Us:

Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange:



[0:00] Reasons to be optimistic about national unity

[9:26] What’s going on inside newsrooms?

[12:22] Making a movie about focus groups

[18:38] The world of nuance in a simple question

[22:56] Surprising perspectives on difficult issues

[32:55] You can only have real conversations in person

[37:42] The Pareto principle of online discourse

[42:55] How do you deal with the instinct to radicalize?

[51:51] Why have race relations broken down?

[58:58] What is “liberalism” and why does it matter?

[1:02:50] Changing opinions about people, not policy

[1:08:32] Why are people rejecting an “American” identity?

[1:18:44] Multi-ethnic democracy is a brand new experiment

[1:23:13] People don’t want to bring conflict into their homes

[1:31:43] Watch out for conversational terrorists

[1:37:34] Keep the rules few, simple, and local

[1:45:32] The need for marriage counseling in politics

[1:48:42] How to watch “Undivide Us”


Watch the video version on YouTube:

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Dad Saves America
Dad Saves America
Dad Saves America is all about celebrating dads and fatherhood. Fatherhood is the greatest opportunity to make a positive impact you will have in your lifetime. We’re figuring out how to raise a generation of resilient, independent-minded kids who are ready to embrace freedom in their future. Top experts and engaging personalities, including Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Adam Curry, Daymond John, and Jay Glazer, trade stories of childhood, parenthood, and all the issues impacting how we raise our kids with host John Papola.