After taking the summer off from the live show, Jeff dives into the Fall season with an analysis of the American political scene, currently dominated by The Donald, of course. Could he really be president? Jeff says “no, but he is performing a great evolutionary service”.

Much is made of the problem of the polarization of the left and right in American politics, and Donald Trump may be part of the solution. After all, polarization is a stage on the path of development. As Jeff says:

The interesting thing about polarities is that once you get your thesis and antithesis well clarified then the next step is to create new synthesis. Thus you have Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders coming from opposite sides of the political spectrum arriving at two similar political goals. The first is a tax hike for the rich; the second is an end to cheap labor and trade deals. The other Republicans, financed by the wealthiest Americans, will not take these stands.  [NOTE: since this recording, Jeb Bush has said he is open to higher taxes on the rich, strengthening the new synthesis.]

One reason for Trump’s success may be that we are craving candor and authenticity in our political candidates these days–or at least someone who’s good at faking it. Hillary Clinton just wants a chance to show us her spontaneous side, her relatable personality. But is it really there? What is the “X factor” that Bill Clinton has, and even George W. Bush has, that Hillary and Jeb seem to lack?

Speaking of lines of development, Ben Carson has gained a surprising lead in the polls, and many are wondering: how is it possible for a brilliant neurosurgeon to believe that the earth is 5000 years old? Integral has an answer for that.

Also, a sympathetic perspective on Kim Davis, the clerk in Kansas who has become a right-wing hero for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling and issue marriage certificates to same sex couples. And we end with a three and a half minute prose poem of sorts from Hank, one half of the popular YouTube duo the Vlogbrothers, sent to us by friend of the show Max Johnson. It’s a great meditation on impermanence.

Send Jeff your comments and questions for the show. Record a voice message using the orange tab to the right, or just use the voice memo function on your smart phone and send to [email protected].