Profiles of Republican and Democrat arguing in front of US map

Have Our Political Parties Turned Into Cults?

I recently wrote a piece offering “Some Hard-Won Wisdom Concerning Cults.” And I've written a couple of pieces recently questioning the direction of the current Republican Party. And so, today, I want to ask the question: should either, or both, of our political parties be considered cults?

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Author Herb Bowie with Golden Retriever Hank


I write as The Practical Utopian because my twin desires are to be:
Down-to-earth — I try to write short pieces explaining big ideas that will be broadly useful;
Idealistic — I write with the goal of helping all of us achieve better outcomes, both for ourselves and for those around us.

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The best thing we can do is treat each other better

But the point is, I guess, that my politics has always been premised on the notion that the differences we have on this planet are real. They’re profound. And they cause enormous tragedy as well as joy. But we’re just a bunch of humans with doubts and confusion. We do the best we can. And the best thing we can do is treat each other better because we’re all we’ve got.

Barack Obama, 1 June 2021

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And When I Die

As children, our thoughts about death are stuff of dreams and fairy tales. As adults we learn to suppress these thoughts because we are busy getting on with things. But as teenagers, in this transition between nursery rhymes and real life, we tend to approach this topic with a frankness and curiosity that can be somewhat startling. Laura Nyro wrote her song “And When I Die” at the age of 17, and her refreshing treatment of the subject shows none of the reverence or piety that we learn to adopt as adults.

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