Talking about . . . politics
In this conversation, we explore our own experience about how we learned to talk about politics . . . or to avoid it. We share stories about what has happened around our political conversations and consider the impact this has on our relationships with friends and family. This isn't a conversation about issues, but rather a discovery of how we decide who to relate to and at what depth based on our knowledge of political views.
Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.
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Background reading (optional)
While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?
Two. Your core values
- what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
- what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
- what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
Three. What are your biggest concerns about politics?
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- what happens with your family or friends when a political topic comes up?
- has political polarization affected your life and if so how?
- how and where should we talk about the pressing issues of our communities and country?
- what is your family’s political identity? Did you talk politics and if you did was it a respectful conversation? How do you describe your political identity?
- how would you like political engagement to look in this country?
- what is your vision for how to depolarize politics?
- in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
- what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- name one important thing that was accomplished here;
- is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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