“Some of us are gonna have to cross the street, folks.” Former President Bill Clinton broke that news to the audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival over the weekend. To press the point, Clinton recommended a book to the crowd, “It’s called The Big Sort.” And the author? “His name is Bill Bishop. He lives in Texas….”
And he’s the co-editor of The Daily Yonder and instigator of The Rural Blog, which spread the word.
The Big Sort, published in May, shows how over several decades Americans have drifted into niche communities, surrounded by others who vote, believe, and behave as we do.
“We are growing more isolated in our communities,” Clinton said in an interview with Jane Wales. “This is not good for a democracy.” Clinton spoke of “an interdependent world” undermined by the kinds of social clustering and extremism Bishop and co-author Bob Cushing document in the book. “I urge you to read it,” he said. “We can maximaize our impact, if we reach out to people who are different from ourselves.”