Politics tap into an unusual mixture of reason and emotion. We want to have the right answer, which requires a neutral interpretation of information and events. However, it is human nature to want to feel like we have the right answer, especially when the topic is something we care deeply about.
There is a disconnect between the pure detachment required for cool-headed discussion and the often uncontrollable emotions that are part of our nature. This is why an impassioned speech can sway huge groups of individuals better than an exceptionally well-informed but detached policy paper.
How can we train ourselves to think more effectively about politics?
The Senate tax reform bill that just passed has many changes, but one that took some flak was an apparent tax cut for private jet owners. As is often the case, the story is more complicated than it seems at first blush. All another reminder to be critical about what you read, no matter how you lean politically.
However, there are a few key issues that Kasy gets wrong. Kasy outlines that liberal facts don't work on conservatives because conservatives care about process and liberals care about outcomes. The two big things that Kasy gets wrong reveal a deeper issue in his mind (and maybe those of people across the political spectrum) that will actually continue to prevent someone like Kasy from breaking through to conservatives. That said, this thinking can apply to both sides of the spectrum.
We've long made the case that when you're Wedged, you've been manipulated into losing sight of your own political priorities. We've encouraged you to do work to get back in touch with them--and finally we've come across a tool that can guide you--and the country--through that process.
"Once again?" You say. Oh yes, I do. If you're a typical political news reader, you either saw a whole lot about golf in the past 8 years (and then nothing) or pretty much nothing about golf and then a whole lot just now.
So let's look at now: Trump golfs, probably more than many other presidents have golfed. People are mad that he golfs. Did you know it's costing taxpayer dollars? Shouldn't he be busy fighting ISIS?
What slackers, am I right? We'd better spend energy keeping track of which president golfed more frequently, so we can stock up on some good political points that we'll use later to accomplish nothing at all.
You know arguing with people doesn't really work. Presenting people with facts that contradict their beliefs actually backfires and causes them to dig in more. But there are people outside of politics whose well-being and next meal depend on opening people's minds: they're in sales. Their job, over and over, requires getting people to open their minds to the idea of parting with their hard-earned money in exchange for a thing... often, a thing they didn't know existed until just now!
I actually haven't watched the debates. This surprises many of my friends: isn't this politics stuff what I do? Personally, I didn't think I'd learn anything from the debates that would change how I'm voting, and it seems like most other people watching are also unlikely to change how they vote: who they support going in is likely to color who they think won coming out.
I have noticed something only recently that I have observed for some time in political news and advocacy--I figured out that there is some interesting wordplay about when we talk about the words ethics and morals.
Recently, I had a conversation that disturbed me. Perhaps what was most disconcerting was that it was with someone who is extraordinarily intelligent and a successful expert in their field, conservation biology.
A bunch of citizens (myself included) are teaming up with some heavy hitters in unison to innovate bold solutions that transcend partisan politics and create platforms where everyone's voice can be heard and we actually build some bloody solutions.
And you’re invited to take your place among them during The American Citizens Summit, August 1-4!
Xander provides us a passionate call to use this Memorial Day not just to eat meat, and not only to remember, but to reconsider: how do we honor and respect our troops? How do we care for them after they fight for our country... and how before?
Thinking Fast and Slow,a book about decision making, describes two “systems”(1) that process information and therefore reach conclusions in different ways. In this post, Xander uses the principles from Thinking to help us practice skepticism and detachment in political dialogue.
Looking for a place to actually get out of your political bubble and talk policy with smart people who don't always agree with you? We've formed a new partnership with BridgeUSA, and it's just the place to do so. Take a read in this quick post to learn what they're about and how to get involved.