Wade Davis’s Thoughts on the Future of America and a Country Divided

October 14, 2020

By Izzy Almasi

The United States is a country divided into Republicans and Democrats, haves and have nots, Biden and Trump supporters. But what does this mean for the future of America? According to world-renowned anthropologist and best-selling author Wade Davis, it means the American people have some work to do if they want to maintain their country’s status and legacy.

“Whatever happens in November, it won’t mean the end of this incredible schism between the two halves of the American reality,” says Davis in the second part of his interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “Even if Trump is resoundingly defeated, there still will be the desperate need to heal the two halves of the American reality.”

As a distinguished professor of anthropology at UBC, National Geographic explorer, and most recently the author of the viral Rolling Stone article titled “How COVID-19 Signals the End of the American Era,” Wade Davis wants the American people to know that this election is about more than which side of the political spectrum you fall on. It is about upholding the democracy that the country was built on.

“I think it’ll be a profound lesson for America that you don’t take your democracy lightly. You don’t vote your grievances, indulging your own indignations. The vote is something more serious than that. It’s a vote as to the destiny of your country,” says Davis. “I think mercifully the vast majority of Americans, good and decent people, recognize that Trump has been a disaster for the reputation of America as a global power and as inspiration to the world.”

Though Davis is clear in his concern for the American legacy and what lies ahead, he calls on people to maintain hope. The country can repair itself to create a positive vision for the future.

“I’m always optimistic because I think pessimism is an indulgence and despair is an insult to the imagination, just like orthodoxy is the enemy of invention,” says Davis. “If Americans don’t find, as Lincoln said ‘the better angels of nature’, if they’re not able to find some path of forgiveness to embrace people of other backgrounds, and if they don’t have any sense of a greater common good, a nation to serve and not just with flag wrap patriotism, but with something far more important — loving, compassionate, and kind acts that resonate through eternity as good. If [the American people] can’t find their way back to that, then this really will be the end of the American era.”

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Visit the USAGov website to learn more about how to register to vote and how to prepare for the November 4th election to ensure that your voice is heard.


Visit Spotifywww.skaana.orgApple Podcasts, or StitcherSkaana’s interview with Wade Davis is a two-part special focusing on America under Trump. Be sure to check out the Rolling Stone article. Click here for books by Wade Davis — including Magdalena: River of Dreams.


If you’d like to hear more from the Skaana Pod, tune in to Orca Bites every Monday! And share your stories of the first time you ever saw a whale on our Anchor platform.

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