Now that the election is over, LiveScience asks…
“The next question is, will our politicians be able to come together to govern the country over the next four years? And will you and Aunt Mildred be able to civilly pass the peas over Thanksgiving dinner after that knock-down, drag-out fight you had about health-care reform on Election Day?”
Thankfully, they answer their own question with tips from our friend, former Village Square Dinner at the Square featured speaker Matt Motyl. Read the article here.
We’re excited to have been contacted by This American Life (we think we’re getting a reputation). Turns out they’re looking for a relationship strained over politics to feature on the radio. We told them we’d help and we’re going to even sweeten the deal. If you contact them and they choose your story, we’ll buy you and your fellow strainee 2 tickets to our September 11th Dinner at the Square featuring Jonathan Haidt on Polarization, Demonization & Paralysis in American Politics. It’ll be a perfect icebreaker to start the rebuilding. We’d love to see our hometown be a part of this national story!
Here’s their invitation to Tallahassee:
The public radio show “This American Life” is seeking interview subjects for a story on how the Red/Blue split in this country is affecting relationships between friends and family members. If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with a political divide with someone you care about or desperately wants to rebuild a relationship that has suffered because of politics — please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-624-5022.
*Surely there will be many more casting calls…
Read the whole article HERE. Here’s a snip:
“Incivility destroys a community’s capacity to generate wealth.
In a networked, knowledge-driven economy, collaboration drives wealth creation. And collaboration can only thrive in a stable environment of trust. The corrosion of our civil society –– the alarming growth of incivility and pervasive lying –– undercuts our economy’s productivity and our capacity to innovate.
Incivility — fraudulent concealment (“hiding the ball”), lying, manipulation, and associated behaviors — can work well to redistribute wealth. We see almost endless examples from MF Global to the subprime mess. Yet, these behaviors do not generate wealth. Indeed, they erode capitalism’s capacity to generate wealth. That’s why corruption slows economic growth and why trust is associated with higher rates of economic growth.”
Thanks to Tony for the heads up on this great article.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday on This Week with Christiane Amanpour:
“The tone is not good right now. And our political system here in Washington, particularly up on the Hill, Congress, has become very, very tense, in that the two sides, the Republicans and the Democrats, are focusing more and more on their extreme left and extreme right. And we have to come back toward the center in order to compromise.
A story I like to tell is our founding fathers were able to sit in Philadelphia and make some of the greatest compromises known to man — tough, tough issues.
But they did it. Why? Because they were there to create a country, whereas we have a Congress now that can’t even pass an appropriations bill, and we’re running this country on a continuing resolution, which — what else are they here for but to pass appropriations bills?
And so we have got to find a way to start coming back together. And let me say this directly. The media has to help us. The media loves this game where everyone is on the extreme. It makes for great television. It makes for great chatter. It makes for great talk shows all day long with commentators commenting on commentators about the latest little mini-flap up on Capitol Hill.
So what we have to do is, sort of, take some of the heat out of our political life in terms of the coverage of it so these folks can get to work quietly.”
(Photo credit: Josh Self)
my son is has a slight hearing impairment and so i learned sign language.
one of my favorite signs is the sign for the word “believe”.
it actually is made like this...
it combines two signs. the sign “think” and the sign “to marry”.
and the sign is very philosophically accurate… “to believe” is “to marry our thoughts”.
it is one thing just to hang out with our thoughts, to date our thoughts, to be friends with our thoughts. but it is something entirely different to marry our thoughts. to make a living commitment to those thoughts 24/7. Read all »
Under the banner of better late than never (this was in my stack of catch-up reading after our last program, printed on September 6th in the Tallahassee Democrat):
The National Conference of Editorial Writers, apparently tiring of the “online free-for-alls that treat facts and lies as equals” is launching a “civility Project” to help journalists navigate the challenges of knowing where to draw the line between constructive – even if difficult – debate and the now too routine combustible spleen venting. The editorial about this project, first published in the Providence Journal explains:
“The mediators are hardly perfect in judgment, but they are becoming a last bulwark against a national screamfest, where the loudest, angriest and most outrageous opinions get the most attention; facts seem to matter less and less in the general din.”
Read the full editorial here.
Oh, and AMEN.
“Lack of civility in words bleeds into a lack of decency in behavior, and so it goes.” –Kathleen Parker
(Photo credit: Michael Hashizume)
From today’s St. Petersburg Times:
“No doubt the many eulogies to be offered at former first lady Betty Ford’s funeral today will honor her service to the nation, heroic candor in dealing with substance abuse, and openness in fighting breast cancer. But this remarkable woman’s passing also spotlights a lost era of collegial bipartisanship in the nation’s political life…” Read the editorial HERE.
(Thanks to Florence for the heads-up)
This post is our regular weekly Purple State of Mind feature. Why not hop on over to Purple and read it there instead?
“Poisoning the Press” is a favorite fantasy of politicians caught in the crosshairs of a dogged investigative reporter. It’s also the title of a new book about “Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture.”
The author is journalist turned media ethics professor Mark Feldstein. The storytelling skills Feldstein honed over years of Peabody and Emmy award winning reporting make Poisoning the Press a scholarly work wrapped in a rockin’ good beach-read. For Village Squares trying to understand how our political culture got so ugly, Feldstein cracks the code.
Using previously classified documents and interviews with folks who were there, the author shows how Nixon and Anderson fed off each other in a twisted, mongoose-and-cobra kind of way. Nixon was obsessed with the press. He spent countless hours talking about journalists, but hardly any time with them. Read all »
Radio and cable talk show host Ed Schultz calls himself “The Nation’sÂ Number 1 Progressive Voice.”
This week, heÂ progressed to the Misogynist Hall of Fame with his radio reference toÂ fellow opinionator Laura Ingraham as a “slut.”Â Â Schultz managed to use the word twice in one sentence, which is one time more than would have gotten past the Village Square Civility Bell.
Impulse control is not one of Schultz’s strengths. Last summer, the New York Post reported his “meltdown in the [MSNBC] 30 Rock newsroom.”Â Schultz was enraged that the marketing folks ran commercials that he wasn’t in. When his huffing and puffing failed to win hearts and minds, he slammed down the telephone and shouted, “I’m going to torch this [bleep]ing place.” Read all »
People make sense.
Years of schooling in behavioral sciences (thanks mom and dad) ultimately led me to that conclusion. If you know what people know, if you know what people don’t know, if you experience what they’ve experienced, well, then… they tend to make sense.
Could that mean that people make sense in the unhinged world of politics too? An organization called CivilPolitics.org is accumulating information from the study of our psychology as it relates to our political polarization. Co-founder Dr. Jonathan Haidt of University of Virginia is doing fascinating work in looking at our moral psychology vis-a-vis our political orientation. His work supports my conclusion – albeit with a smidge more science: People make sense if you understand their moral foundations. Read all »