There are lots of things to think about.

Leave a comment

The Importance of the Free Press

I am appalled by Donald Trump’s behavior toward the press.  While his comments about them are so negative they fit into his usual mode of conversation.

“Totally dishonest” “disgusting” “horrible people”.  This is how Trump talks about the press.

We could say that this is how he talks about most of the people, especially those who don’t fawn and grovel to him.  He described the intelligence community as the “intelligence” community until he decided to say how much he loved and admired them.  Then he continued to talk about himself and how great he was for the rest of the time at the CIA.

His behavior is totally dishonest, and disgusting.

We need a free and conscientious press now more than ever.  Trump must be held to account.  His lies and put downs of important people must be illuminated.  Don’t worry about him keeping his promises:  that would be the most dangerous thing he could do.

See this link from the New Yorker for a good example of good free journalism:

More to come.  Congratulations to everyone who went on a woman’s march on Saturday.  Great work.



Leave a comment

Liberals and Conservatives Need to Talk to Each Other!

Why can’t Liberals and Conservative talk to each other?

Does this happen in your family?  With your friends?  When two people from opposite sides of the political spectrum start to have a political discussion it either goes out of control, or gets shut down. (“Let’s change the subject.  I don’t want any talk about politics.”)

Two people arguing.

Political arguments can make you tear your hair out.

The two sides stay completely opposed, stuck, no improvement gets made on the problems which are allowed to fester.

When a conversation does take place the interactions often get tangled, then hostile, often the subject is dropped.

Both sides believe that they have the truth.

What doesn’t happen is a chance to explore the truth of the other side.

To increase the horizons of the discussion.

To recognize that each view has a piece of the truth.

To recognize that some problems can be addressed, but not if the other side or the other view is vilified.

Start with Listening to start a conversation

First: Listen to each other. Both have to be willing to listen and to hear the experience of the other, to recognize that the experience is valid.

What does listening well mean?  Listening well means that you can describe the point of view of the other person in your own words.

Listening may not be an easy exercise. We are often revved up to tell our own side, or to criticize the point of view of the other.

We are thinking about what we want to say rather than listening to the other person. See Here for ways to improve listening in challenging situations.

Both persons also have to be willing to share their experiences, with specific examples, expressing feelings and thoughts about that.

Expressing our own experience may also be difficult. It is easy to give one impassioned example, but to give a series of these, in a calm way, without criticism of the other person’s experience, is also difficult.  Go Here for tips on effective expression of your thoughts and feelings and experiences.

The Question is “How?”

A young man, reaching to shake hands

Reaching out to people who disagree can help with problem solving.

The second step is moving to the question How?

Given that some problems have been identified, how do you address these problems?

Start with the recognition that these issues do not have to be roadblocks.  These are problems to be solved.

The problems are valid.  They cause real problems for real people.

Problem solving also requires us to accept that a solution will not work perfectly. But improvement can be made.

Go Here and Here for powerful problem solving techniques.

Let’s open a dialogue!!