Why the U.S. is an anomaly among democracies

Eboo Patel explains how America's political philosophy broke the democratic mold.

  • From the time of the ancient Greeks, political philosophers believed the only way to have diversity in a society was for it to be an empire or a dictatorship. They thought homogeneity was the core of democracy: one ethnic group, one racial group, and especially one religion. Then America broke that mold in 1787.
  • Eboo Patel cites historical examples of how Benjamin Franklin donated funds to different religious communities and built a pulpit for the Grand Mufti of Constantinople to preach Islam, if he so wanted. George Washington assured the Jewish people protection in a very famous and beautifully written letter. Religious diversity? Turns out it's as American as apple pie.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Dear elites: Did you learn your lesson?

Populism: The "overnight" problem 40 years in the making

  • A globalized, interconnected world doesn't necessarily work for everyone... especially on the rural (and hyper-local) levels.
  • While many got massively rich from technology and globalized trade it left many feeling locked out.
  • Anand focuses on the rise of Trump and the huge popularity of Bernie Sanders to highlight the fact that the majority aren't satisfied with the current state of capitalism.
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  • Human beings are psychologically hardwired to fear differences
  • Several recent studies show evidence that digital spaces exacerbate the psychology which contributes to tribalism
  • Shared experiences of awe, such as space travel, or even simple shared meals, have surprising effectives for uniting opposing groups
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7 prophetic writings by American presidents

These seven presidents had a window into the future—or were really good guessers.

  • Presidential candidates run on platforms of change and are elected by those who desire their vision of the future.
  • We look at seven times presidents' writings that have been oddly, if accidentally, prophetic.
  • Of course, there may be some hindsight bias in our selections.
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Forced examination: How the free speech of others benefits us all

Americans say we value free speech, but recent surveys suggest we love the ideal more than practice, a division that will harm more than it protects.

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  • A majority of Americans believe we should protect people from deleterious ideas and speech.
  • This belief may harm us, both as individuals and as a society, by ironically strengthening the very ideas that do us harm.
  • Forced examination provides a means by which we can strengthen our own ideas while weeding the harmful ones from society, but it only works with free expression for everyone.
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