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Political Discourse

I'm Going To Stop Dissing Donald Trump. Here's Why.

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 12.06.2016 | Home
Barbara Falconer Newhall

I decided to stop dissing Donald Trump. I would give him a chance. I'd keep an open mind.

The Grown-Up's Guide To Talking Politics With The Other Side

Liesha Petrovich | Posted 11.15.2016 | Home
Liesha Petrovich

If your only goal is to be right or to win, you're part of the problem. If you're ready to move this country forward, be part of the solution.

The Tragic Emptiness of Our Political Discourse

T.A. Ridout | Posted 07.20.2016 | Home
T.A. Ridout

Paying attention to this U.S. presidential campaign and commentators' efforts to make sense of it can be a painful undertaking. Aside from the hateful rhetoric and incitement to violence that Donald Trump has unleashed on society, our tired conceptual short-hands that we try to impose on people and ideas are outdated.

Don't Tell Or Believe A Single Story

Gustavo Payan | Posted 06.14.2016 | Home
Gustavo Payan

The political discourse of this year's presidential election is characterized by single stories. These single stories are dramatically changing group dynamics in the U.S. and abroad, widening gaps amongst already polarized communities and ethnicities.

A Call for Better Politics in the General Election

Larry Harris Jr. | Posted 05.18.2016 | Home
Larry Harris Jr.

I hope in the general election that Clinton will run an idealistic and uplifting campaign. The alternative is two candidates slinging mud at one another, hoping to be the last fighter punching. That is not what America needs right now and will only deepen the rift between the two parties.

Goodbye for Now, Dear Nancy

Norman Lear | Posted 03.06.2016 | Home
Norman Lear

I liked her from the first time I danced with her forty some years ago -- before that, when at meeting me, she smiled. I thought her charming, gracious, forever warm and interested, fully able to resonate to a partisan but empathic source with which she was not necessarily familiar.

Angels, Men and Government: Bringing Civility Back to the Political Discourse

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz | Posted 11.23.2016 | Home
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

We are flawed; the system is flawed. But that doesn't mean we should expect perfection of intellect and temperament from our politicians. We are a rapidly changing society, for better or worse, and we hold the power to shape the future of this nation.

Is Peace at Thanksgiving Just Pie-in-the-Sky?

Mike Mennonno | Posted 11.23.2016 | Home
Mike Mennonno

This year, a dose of good old-fashioned human decency seems especially timely. Maybe -- just maybe -- breaking bread together can break the spell of the fear-mongers and hate-merchants getting all the media time as of late. It's a tall order, I admit.

Trump's Spitwads or Francis' Generosity -- Which Will Americans Choose?

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 09.28.2016 | Home
Barbara Falconer Newhall

I'm wondering, will Pope Francis' visit lead Americans to rethink the vitriolic spitwads they've been throwing at each other lately -- in public, in private and online? Pope Francis' patient, respectful speaking style puts to shame folks like the invective-spewing Donald Trump.

The Unexpected Legacy of Cecil the Lion

Anna Giraldo Kerr | Posted 07.31.2016 | Home
Anna Giraldo Kerr

Let's honor those we mourn--animal and human--and the causes we hold dear by empathizing, strategizing and mobilizing. Let the killing of Cecil be a catalyst for moving all issues forward and not use it as an excuse to stay in the merry-go-around of anger, judgment and contempt.

Millennials and Racism: How We Can Change the Discussion

Ryan Chapin Mach | Posted 08.23.2014 | Home
Ryan Chapin Mach

Why do Millennials, despite our fervent belief in equality and open discussion, seem so resistant to having a truly open discussion about equality?

The Twitter Delusion

Greig Lamont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Home
Greig Lamont

Whether it's validation, narcissism, or even the upsurge in anonymous online vitriol and abuse, all of these criticisms seem to miss the mark. So, what's the rub?

Why Bother Talking Politics on the Internet?

Kate Blanchard | Posted 06.25.2013 | Home
Kate Blanchard

The exchange, in combination with a number of other unpleasant exchanges I've had in the past couple of years since venturing into Internet writing, made me think again about the purpose of public discourse.

My New Friend Likes Glenn Beck

Joshua McLaurin | Posted 06.22.2013 | Home
Joshua McLaurin

Whatever your personal reaction to the song "Accidental Racist" may be, the immediate controversy that followed is a reminder that voices appearing to call for unity are subject to intense scrutiny. And that's a good thing.

Taking the Argument to Them

Phil Campbell | Posted 03.11.2013 | Home
Phil Campbell

By pursuing conversations with people about urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the nuttier political and social myths that pervade our culture, I've learned something about people: Our media-fueled "culture war" is in many ways an illusion.

4 Ways to Improve the State of Political Discourse Online

Rand Strauss | Posted 01.08.2013 | Home
Rand Strauss

Instead of ignoring posts and comments as your blood boils with disagreement, I propose we change the state of political discourse online. After all, we are all debating for a common cause: the well-being of our nation and the citizens who reside within it.

The Shoot-Out Election: How To Vote?

Alan Jones | Posted 12.18.2012 | Home
Alan Jones

Given the extremes of our political discourse, where does a "progressive traditionalist" like me find solace and encouragement?

Tales From the Election: Poison, Pinheads and Partisanship

Emily Booker | Posted 10.03.2012 | Home
Emily Booker

Ten minutes later, our bosses rushed over, asked where the food had come from and were horrified to learn we had accepted food from a stranger. "What did this man look like, this is a political campaign! There could be strychnine or something in that! Let us know if you're not feeling well," they said.

Gaffology 101

Robin Lakoff | Posted 11.19.2012 | Home
Robin Lakoff

Gaffes are not just meaningless accidents: they reveal more about the true characters of the politicians who make them than they would wish the electorate to know.

Echos of Leadership

Jeffrey Abelson | Posted 11.16.2012 | Home
Jeffrey Abelson

Aside from the undeniable merit of his views, consider the actual language used. Serious. Intelligent. Thought-provoking. Wouldn't it be something if a sizable number of our politicians would actually talk like that today? Imagine how different the national debate might be.

An Educated Voter Is Our Democracy's Best Citizen

Matthew Tolliver | Posted 09.15.2012 | Home
Matthew Tolliver

Are the citizens of this country, by virtue of our general lack of political fluency, the cause of this lackluster discourse? The numbers support the idea. We need to set a new standard for our political leaders' fluency in policy.

Does Name-Calling Politics Improve Your Argument?

Robert V. Taylor | Posted 11.10.2012 | Home
Robert V. Taylor

In the polite city of Portland, Oregon, I eavesdropped on the animated conversation at the table next to me. As they spoke about the Ryan budget the first grenade was thrown: "You are an ass---e."

A Campaign for Civility: The Virtue of Being Nice in Political Discourse

Rev. Amy Ziettlow | Posted 11.05.2012 | Home
Rev. Amy Ziettlow

With the Republican convention past and the Democratic convention upon us, it seems like a ripe time to ponder the tenor of public discourse.

Election 2012: The End Of The Middle Of Everything

Howard Fineman | Posted 07.09.2012 | Home
Howard Fineman

Dick Lugar was a nice guy who stayed too long. But his crushing loss is also a valid data point in a profound and troubling trend, obvious not only in politics but in every other aspect of American life. We are losing the mediating middle of everything.

Upending Political Vitriol

Robert V. Taylor | Posted 06.23.2012 | Home
Robert V. Taylor

Our culture and political process is adept at demonizing opposing points of view and candidates. What if, instead of accepting this as the norm, we embrace a proactive response that insists on a new discourse?