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Healing a Fractured Nation with Apolitical Unification Expert Peter Montoya (ep. 376)

Peter Montoya author of The Second Civil War

Apolitical unification expert Peter Montoya joins John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast to share practical strategies we can use to unify our divided society.

From shaming and shunning to mocking and ridiculing, it’s stunning how many relationships have been damaged amongst people with opposing political views in recent years.

To begin healing and finding meaningful ways to move forward together, we’ve invited Apolitical unification expert Peter Montoya to join us. First, Peter shares the facts and landscape for what has led us to the growing divide. Then, he offers practical strategies to improve your relationships now.

Today’s conversation is a reminder that real change starts within each of us. Only then can our communities, nation and, ultimately, our world change. It starts with us.

Listen + subscribe on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio


  • One third of Americans believe we’re headed towards a second Civil War. Peter describes this current season of divisiveness and polarization as a “cold” social war, unlike the Civil War in the 1860s.
  • During the global pandemic the usual large national events of sporting champions, awards shows that rallied us together were missing, causing politics to become a way of life.
  • Turn off the 24-hour news: In the mid-1990s, a shift occurred when news organizations began to sensualize stories to draw a larger audience to sell more advertising. While it’s our innate desire to keep ourselves + our tribe safe by staying well informed, constant access to too much information too often is harmful to our mental health + well-being including increased stress + anxiety.
  • “Propaganda is a monologue that is not looking for an answer but an echo.”
  • Peter mentions that elected officials have become psychologic + symbolic avatars of status and representing the “good” team.
  • Cancel culture or mob character assassination is when groups rally together in disapproval to take away their influence, power or position.
  • Virtue signaling, the public expression of a moral viewpoint with the intent of communicating one’s own good character, is often viewed as insincere yet Peter believes it’s our basic instinct to belong.
  • People debate to figure out who is right. People discuss to find out what is right. When with a good thought-partner with differing opinions, Peter discusses ideas or policies under the mutual understanding that there isn’t a “winner” and each are not trying to change the other’s mind.
  • Attack ideas, not people. Instead of demonizing others for their differing creed, belief or opinion, focus on developing a relationship built on empathy and understanding.
  • “Intolerance is to stand alone. Tolerance is to stumble separately and inclusion is to walk together.”
  • Solutions to implement to make our lives better and heal our nation:
    • Treat your phone like a toothbrush: Use it briefly and only as a utility.
    • Scroll less, read more: retrain your brain to consume long-form writing
    • Be more mindful, less reactional
    • Play a different game: Don’t be a pawn on someone else’s chess board.
    • Be a true Patriot: small sacrifices to benefit others.
  • Pre-order a copy of Peter Montoya’s book The Second Civil War here.


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