S2, Ep 5 | A Blueprint for Success

A DEMOCRAT WINS A SPECIAL ELECTION FOR A HOUSE SEAT IN A FORMERLY HEAVILY REPUBLICAN DISTRICT. WHAT CAN THAT TEACH US ABOUT THE MIDTERMS? 

SHOW NOTES:

  • Meet Conor Lamb [bio]
  • An exciting victory for a boring candidate [link]
  • Won back the working class while maintaining gains among the affluent [opinion]
  • Inception [trailer]
  • Inception: Don't Think of an Elephant [clip]

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S2, Ep 4 | Gun Control or Gun Reform

IN THE WAKE OF THE PARKLAND SHOOTING, WE DISCUSS IF THIS IS A TRUE TURNING POINT IN THE GUN CONTROL MOVEMENT. AND WHY IT JUST MIGHT BE REFORM THIS TIME. 

SHOW NOTES:

  • The US Gun Violence problem [Vox]
  • What it's like shooting guns in the army [article]
  • Next generation rifle will be as powerful as a tank cannon [article]
  • Follow the Parkland students [Twitter profiles]
  • Demolition Man [trailer

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S2, Ep 2 | Taxes as an Investment

BY FOCUSING ON TAX CUTS, WE BUY INTO THE FRAME THAT TAXES ARE A BURDEN. WHAT IF WE THOUGHT OF THEM AS INVESTMENT IN THE PUBLIC GOOD INSTEAD? AN INVESTMENT, FOR EXAMPLE, ON LIFEGUARDS IN SANTA MONICA BAY? 

SHOW NOTES:

  • Republicans pass sweeping tax bill [article]
  • The Republican tax bill as an American betrayal [op-ed]
  • How the tax bill affects blue states [article]
  • Breaking down the Federal Budget [link]
  • Your tax dollars at work [video]
  • Take a walk on Billionaire's Beach [link]

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Ep 21 | We Can Talk About Recap

A LOOK BACK AT THE FRAMES WE EXPLORED AND DECONSTRUCTED AT THE END OF THE YEAR AND OUR FIRST SEASON. 

SHOW NOTES:

  • All our episodes are available on our website [link]
  • Or wherever you get your podcasts [Apple iTunes]
  • Don't Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff [book]
  • 2018 Senate Map [interactive]
  • Taking back the House [SwingLeft]

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Ep 20 | A Guide to Talking To Your Racist Uncle During the Holidays

THE HOLIDAYS ARE STRESSFUL TIMES FOR AMERICANS WHO ARE ABOUT TO BE BOMBARDED BY THE LESS THAN SAVORY OPINIONS OF THEIR RELATIVES. BUT DON'T DESPAIR, THERE'S SOMETHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. 

SHOW NOTES:

  • Our hero, Daryl Davis, who personally convinced 200 KKK members to turn in their "cloaks of dishonor" [article
  • The haunting Confederate essay by John Calhoun on slavery as a positive good [essay]
  • Why calling someone racist doesn't reduce their racism [Vox]
  • Get Out [trailer

THE 7-STEP GUIDE

1. Understand where they're coming from.
When your relative makes an uncomfortable comment to stir the pot, ask them why they believe what they're saying. Try to get to the root of where their beliefs are coming from. 

Comments like these are often motivated by very specific emotions that you'll want to get to.

2. Meet them emotionally.
Share whatever feeling motivates them. For example, if they talk about their fear for the direction the country is going in, you can respond, "As a citizen, I also feel fear about the country going in the wrong direction." 

Very importantly, this doesn't mean that you agree with the solution. It just means that you can connect on an emotional level. This opens the door for the next step...

3. Discuss their views logically.
Once you've established a common ground emotionally, start to see what are the logical components to their emotional state.

Engage their arguments by talking through some of the logic. Don't try to "win" the argument at this point. Don't even get into an argument. Let them talk and explore the assumptions in their conclusions. Give them space to explain themselves.

4. Determine potential for change. 
Ask them specifically what they would need in order for them to think another way. 

For example, if they made a statement that anyone that kneels for the national anthem should be deported, ask them if there's anything that could happen in their life that would ever make them protest the government. 

If they're willing to engage that possibility, then you can move on to the next step. If they're not, then it's time to cut your losses and probably end the conversation. 

5. Activate nurturance.
Now that you've established they could entertain an alternative in their thinking, ask them to put themselves in the shoes of the people they're criticizing. 

Ask them, if they were in charge, how you would help them. Then activate nurturance by asking them to describe a time when they helped someone or did something good for another person. 

6. Validate their broadened perspective.
If they've joined you on this journey and can now see how there are ways to help, then encourage them to go further. 

For example, if they were to say, "I now understand why players kneel for the anthem. I would never do it, but I see why," encourage them to go even further. Ask them to see what change the players would need to see in the world to want to stand up with pride again. 

7. Make them feel good about the new version of themselves. 
At this point, now that your relative has embraced a new perspective, you have to make them feel good about the experience. 

You don't want them to be embarrassed by their prior position, at all. Let that live in the past. Moving forward, they see the situation from a new perspective and you should thank them for that. 


NOW, it does take a lot of emotional labor up front to meet them where they are, but it'll be worth it in the end. 

If Daryl Davis can talk to the KKK and convince them to give up their cloaks of dishonor, then you can talk to your uncle and convince him that we don't need a ban on refugees.