THURSDAY | MARCH 5, 2020 | 7:00-9:00 pm
Explore what Jim Bennett’s political journey from a Republican hack to one of the founders of the United Utah Party taught him about the destructive nature of tribalism in public discourse.
Home of Ed and Kristen Iversen
3582 Oak Rim Way Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Please don’t arrive more than 15 minutes early. Thank you.
If there is no parking to be found near the home you can also park in the “park & ride” lot on the NW corner of 3900 South and Wasatch Blvd. Oak Rim Way is just east of the intersection on the north side.
You’re invited to bring some finger food to share.
Jim Bennett spent decades as a political operative in the Utah Republican Party, focused on advancing the GOP and destroying the Democratic opposition. He began to question his party loyalty during the Tea Party uprising against his father in 2010, and he ended up leaving the Republicans altogether when Donald Trump secured the party nomination in 2016. He joined up with disaffected centrists a year later and co-founded the United Utah Party and ran as its first candidate, garnering 9.4% of the vote, making him the most successful third-party congressional candidate in Utah history. In this discussion, Jim will discuss his political odyssey, with a focus on what he discovered about polarizing political discourse and the challenges of blind partisanship and tribalism.
After Jim shares his journey and observations we will break into small groups and discuss what we can do to bridge partisan divides and create a healthier political environment.
Jim Bennett is one of the co-founders of the United Utah Party and ran as its first candidate in 2017 and became the most successful third-party congressional candidate in Utah history. He is also an LDS writer and blogger whose response to the CES Letter has been downloaded over 100,000 times. He currently works for canonizer.com, a website designed to amplify the wisdom of the crowd and find consensus on controversial issues.
EXPLORE BEFORE WE MEET:
From Jim Bennett:
Will Somebody Please Hate My Enemies for Me?
And here are some things that I think are critical for us to get if we are going to get out our tribalism:
Why We’re Convinced We’re Right (and everyone else is wrong!)
Jonathan Haidt Ted talk breaking down the 2016 election
Below are some good articles from the December issue of The Atlantic
(Thanks to group member Ross Collier, for giving this issue to me.)
The Dark Psychology of Social Networks
Too Much Democracy Is Bad for Democracy
The Dishonesty of the Abortion Debate
And many more in this Special December issue of The Atlantic