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“I dunno, I think this is all ok. We got the first black president out of the way. We got the first woman out of the way. Now we got a billionaire president out of the way. Maybe soon we can get back to normal again.”
I’m so enamored with Alfie’s work. It’s validating to hear researchers coming to progressive conclusions about child-rearing.
But what struck me the most about this book was how practical and actionable the advice was, how very non-progressive it is. For instance, if most adults reject autocratic rule, why would we want that for our own children (“Do it because I said so”)? For that matter, why do we (particularly if we’ve been raised in such an authority structure) feel threatened by the idea of seeking compromise or rational discourse with our kids?
I was also very fascinated by the intersection of Kohn’s psychology concepts with that of faith and religion. There are so many points of intersection with fundamentalist or Evangelical notions of authority, image of God, masculinity, punishment, shame, love and forgiveness — most of which have toxic baggage for those of us who have escaped.
This is truly a staggering work. It was a tower of details, geopolitical intrigue, espionage, statecraft, deception, and of course corruption.
Not having lived through this period in history, I think my biggest takeaway is that everything I’d come to accept as “culturally” true about the Nixon era is every bit warranted. In other words, a kid like me in the 80s grew to understand that Nixon really was a crook, despite his claiming otherwise.
And in fact, thanks to Weiner’s incredible tome of a work, he was much worse. He was arguably a war criminal, a narcissistic felon, an egomaniacal tyrant.
And yet, he went to China. He started talks with Russia. He turned the U.S.’ policy course from domestic to foreign.
Nixon’s a complicated character for sure. But he was absolutely guilty of every crime he wasn’t punished for. And his own words prove it.
The volume knob in my wife’s Toyota Highlander behaved weirdly. As you turned it up or down, the volume setting would jump up or down, sometimes in the wrong direction and by an unpredictable amount. It didn’t give a linear output as you would expect.
I really loved this book. Collins helped me wrestle with the very real possibility of “a third way” to be a spiritual being and yet also fully endorsing of material science.
The false dichotomies in humanity (science vs. religion, good vs. evil, Left vs. Right, etc.) are exhausting. They lead to burn-out and disenchantment. The Language of God reminded me that it’s possible to navigate two worlds in harmony.