Can we no longer work together as a nation?

Our social problems are complex and getting worse. We need practical, systematic ways of working through them as a collective society.

Here are several salient facts and observations that I’ve been collecting mentally:

1. The United States has over 300 million guns, and straight-forward access to guns is possible in most of the country and for most people.

2. As a social construct, conducting mass murder is now a viable and well-modeled option in the minds of the twisted and mentally ill.

3. Mass shootings could be described as a public health crisis (and is so by many across the political spectrum).

4. Historically, the United States has been a leader in aggressively addressing major public health crises and issues.

5. However, many Americans have lost confidence in the power of science and logical, fact-based analysis to help assess problems and frame solutions.

6. Also, the US today is deadlocked on many social issues due to a bifurcation of views that are often sharply opposed and deeply ingrained in the fundamental identities of individuals.

7. Compounding the problem is the mind-numbing complexity and speed of change we are undergoing globally — ranging across technologies, social norms and structures, and economic models. These forces are beginning to overwhelm our institutions — government, education, business, communities.

8. As a result, many people struggle to understand these forces and instead turn to simple answers, mindless movements, demagogues, and delusions (such as conspiracy theories, survivalism, and extraterrestrial intervention).

What are we to do?