Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I say, you say: an Invitation to Dialogue

We had plenty of time on the bus to and from DC for the Women's March on Washington to talk about what comes next. I am particularly interested in trying to understand the "other side". What do they read? Where do they get their news and information? From where I sit, the question is, "How can they possibly think the way they do?"

I imagine they ask themselves the same questions about us. IF they even think about us. Do they?

At least in my circles, many of "us" are trying to figure out a way to reach across the chasm and l
we certainly think a lot about "them". We're reading books like Strangers in their Own Land and studying World War II.

I had an idea. What if I reached out to some of "them" in my own extended family. We don't agree on much politically. (We never have - but at least 16 months ago we agreed that Donald Trump should never, ever be President. But then that changed, at least for some of them.) Since I was on the bus with half of my book group, I thought that I would ask them to pick a book for me to read. I would suggest a book, too. And then we could take a road trip and meet with a small group of their friends and mine for a discussion of both books. So I tried.

I started by responding to a family member's comparison of opposition to the new administration with criticism of the Reagan administration. I shared a link to an article by Peter Wehner who served in the previous three Republican administrations and says: Why I Cannot Fall in Line Behind Trump: Conservatism is a philosophy, not just a policy checklist.

She responded by calling me a sheep and sharing an article from http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/.../figrues-organizer-dc.../ that claims Linda Sarsour is an islamic fundamentalist because she wears a headscarf.

We were not off to a great start, but I replied with my idea:

Thanks for sharing this. I actually had an idea yesterday that I wanted to run by you: I will commit to reading a book of your choice if you will read one of mine. My liberal friends and I are actively trying to figure out how to breach the ideological divide in this country and seeking sources of information. It occurred to me that it would be interesting to try a "purple" book group. You and a few friends pick a book and my friends and I pick a book. We all read both and then road trip to meet to discuss them and really LISTEN to each other. Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I googled the source of this article you shared because I wasn't familiar with the Gateway Pundit. I hope you also check my sources. We need to understand where each of us is coming from.

Her reply: thanks but no thanks, " I will never change my Religious nor Political views...not for anyone, anything, nor any reason. ... I have no desire to change who I am..."

Meanwhile, I have a blog that I titled, "Dico Dici" or, "I say, you say". I started it as a reflection on language and related it to my consulting business. I've been an inconsistent blogger and often just write to get something off my chest. Right now, I have a lot to get off my chest about the current political climate. So, I'd like to revive DicoDici as an invitation to dialog.

Let's start with the two articles linked above. What do you think? Where do you get your news? What sources do you trust? Why?

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