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Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt on democracy, social media and how to fix America's 'ailing' inst

The American flag flies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Susan Walsh/AP)
The American flag flies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt says America is in trouble.

He sees it on college campuses and through social media.

And it’s getting worse. Affecting not only our kids, but also our democratic institutions.

Social media is incredibly powerful for tearing things down,” Haidt says. “In an ailing democracy like ours where our institutions need to be improved — not ripped apart — it generally has made things worse.”

Haidt says we have to wake up, make changes. Or else.

“We have a huge problem. The ship is sinking. We have to stop fighting each other off the deck. We have to start fixing the ship.”

Today, On Point: Social media, Democracy and how we get out of this.


Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist at New York University Stern School of Business. (@JonHaidt)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

Related Reading

The Atlantic: “Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” — “What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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