The Third Founding, with Mark Sappenfield

Common Ground Committee Let's Find Common Ground Episode 101

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The Third Founding, with Mark Sappenfield

With our political system mired in problems, there’s plenty of talk about ‘fixing politics.’ But our guest, journalist Mark Sappenfield, says that idea is too simplistic. What needs to change, he says “is upstream from politics. It’s how we relate to each other as human beings in our society. And until that changes, politics isn’t going to change.”

In a deeply thoughtful conversation Mark, the editor of the Christian Science Monitor, shares his personal take on where the U.S. is and where it needs to go. Americans’ expectations have changed a lot in recent years with mass internet access and the instant gratification brought about by digital life. We want something? We expect to get it within hours. But Mark argues this culture of convenience and focus on the self has seeped into the rest of our lives, altering our expectations for what politicians can do for us and absolving us of personal responsibility.

From his current home in Germany Mark discusses the upside of a less convenient daily life, the difference between compromise and curiosity, and how a societal re-set he calls ‘a third founding’ may be needed to get America back on track.

Hear more on the latest episode of Let’s Find Common Ground.

Mark Sappenfield

Common Ground Committee Let's Find Common Ground Podcast Mark Sappenfield

Mark Sappenfield is the Editor for The Christian Science Monitor. He joined the Monitor in 1996 and has since written from Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pentagon, and India. In addition to reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan during his time in South Asia, Mark has also written on issues of sports and science.

He has covered seven Olympic Games and attended events at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including the landing of the Mars rover Opportunity. After returning to Boston in 2009, Mark served as both deputy national news editor and national news editor.