Cascade PBS Ideas Festival poster

Cascade PBS Ideas Festival

Journalists, politicians, authors and newsmakers from around the world come together.

Post Reports: Identity Crisis

With trust in institutions at record lows, many are leaning into identity politics. Washington Post reporters discuss where this leaves us.

Trust in American institutions has reached record lows, leaving Americans in search of shared values, community and ways to understand where they fit in. At the same time, identity markers have gained more prominence. Where do these changes leave us? Are we creating more opportunities to understand each other, or are we becoming more fractured? As part of the Cascade PBS Ideas Festival, Post Reports discusses the impact of identity politics on our cultural connections. 

Megan McArdle, Shadi Hamid, Elahe Izadi and Martine Powers explore the role of identity in a tense era, with an undercurrent of identity politics running beneath a pivotal election season, escalation of conflicts in the Middle East, protests on college campuses and evolving social dynamics. With polarized advocacy groups clashing on the forefront of debates around DEI, MAGA, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, equity, feminism, socialism, racism, religion, free speech and anti-wokeness, rhetoric has often been focused on the extremes with little room for nuance and understanding.  

What is the balance between identity group affinities giving people community vs. retreating into isolated bubbles? Do we even have fundamental shared American values anymore?  

This conversation was recorded in Seattle on May 4, 2024.   

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