We’re polarized! Yes, we know, but do we need to do anything about it? Isn’t it enough to just blame the other guy and get on with getting on?
I don’t know if we’re worse than we’ve ever been before, but I do worry about our country and the world. I grew up in a pollyanna era when Democrats and Republicans lived in the same neighborhoods and even got together for backyard picnics. But we’ve been sorting ourselves into separate neighborhoods for a few decades, and a big downside of this trend is our lack of experience conversing with people who have a different view of social and political issues.
This has gotten so serious that some people are now experimenting with strategies to help us engage in difficult conversations. After my last post, which was a bit of a lament and a rant stirred together, I thought it might be useful to offer up some links to campaigns I know about. If you have any direct knowledge of these “better conversation” strategies, please, please let me know what you think. If you know of other projects, please share.
I’m also curious to know if you think you’d ever participate in a program to learn how to have better conversations. Can you picture yourself in a room with other adults learning new skills? If no one can picture themselves in such a situation, are these efforts just doomed to fail?