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Political Discussions in an Age of "Alternative Facts"

Here are some things that I think are making this period so challenging:

  • We can't agree on facts:

  • People are resistant to incorporating new information that challenges their way of thinking:

  • Two people can watch the same debate or discussion and come away thinking different people won that debate- in part because they already decided who they would agree with before the debate started: and

  • People who have ready access to people they disagree with don't talk to each other and/or avoid those kinds of tough conversations (forget about having conversation with respect and an open mind).

I should also note, racial groups have different access to people with opposing opinions. On average, whites have families with more political diversity than folks of color and thus more opportunities to have or avoid these kinds of discussions. This isn't just a now thing but it is an increasing thing. We don't know how to talk to each other but we need to figure out how. I also know that it is hard to listen to someone whose beliefs essentially view you as less than in someway. I don't have answers to these challenges but stating them is a place to start.

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