Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers, co-hosts of the podcast Pantsuit Politics, know that discussing politics in the United States can be a minefield. But if you research prickly issues, remove your “team jersey” and avoid trite talking points, you can pave the way for meaningful dialogues. The authors lie at opposing ends of the political spectrum but find common ground in their Christian faith. While this mutual interest provides fodder for many of their examples, their guide aims to help people of any creed navigate thorny conversations and seek valuable political discussions.
Though etiquette discourages it, you should talk about politics in public.
Social niceties deem talking about politics in public to be impolite. But refraining from such discussions goes against a central premise of the United States. Historians believe that a desire to assemble and debate was fundamental to the birth of the nation. In fact, avoiding disagreements in social situations has heightened the level of conflict. Instead of eschewing political conversations, Americans talk about politics only to those with whom they agree, which spawns echo chambers that exacerbate the yawning divide.
This new paradigm causes people to cling so tightly to their social, religious and political viewpoints that they are unable to tease out individual beliefs. The resulting polarization unravels the social fabric. Opening a dialogue that you anchor on faith and values can alleviate the tension, and foster creative ideas to solve the problems America faces. Americans need to learn how to discuss today’s political issues civilly.
Bifurcation has turned US politics into a team sport, but you can remove your “team jersey.”
In 2017, the Pew Research Center found that ...
Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers co-host the podcast Pantsuit Politics. The former lawyers represent opposing political parties, but they find common ground in their love of debate and their faith.