Rapid Response on Michael Cohen: Suggestions for Improving Conversations

With Michael Cohen’s testimony, we’re seeing something that looks like a scene from a mobster movie: watch Representative Steube (R) try to prove that Cohen paid hush money for Trump but wasn't acting for Trump, or any of countless other bizarre moments. How did we get here? More importantly, how do we create a path for ordinary conservative-minded voters back to conservative values like balancing budgets, serving in the military when called, integrity, law & order?

Social media when people won't listen

Trump often tries to get moderates to look at the left and say "I'm not one of them." He often trolls us into overreacting. That's kindof a natural part of politics, there's always a big center trying to figure out which side is crazier. From the left-media silo it's not obvious how good Trump is at playing media to make us seem like we are vicious and he merely speaks his mind, but he's good at that.

How do you release your political anger?

When politics leaves you feeling angry, how do you vent? Who do you vent to? Are they listening? Do you feel heard?

Venting at people who don't already get it usually means you won't be heard and will push people further away: Have you found a way to vent among political friends, and stay curious and open-minded when reaching out to people you disagree with?

Have a favorite progressive candidate — please consider this action

All of us should have at least two goals for the primary in common:

That the primary does not damage the general election. Primaries should vet candidates, expose their weak points so those are old news in the general. But don't go too far. And more than anything, we all need to keep the process fair. Party primaries used to be non-democratic choices by the party; I want democracy in the primary, I want the candidate I support to push for that.

Scapegoating youth and misplaced anger: a bad week for adults.

This quote speaks true to me. It seems accurate and eloquent, calling out a true phenomena we are seeing: To much of this country, black lives don't matter, while mistaken accusations against white kids are the apocalypse. The parents who watch black children get shot without lifting a finger, now freak out that all the kids from Covington High are called racists on a day where only some of them were caught, that day, in clear acts of contempt.

Exercise on Framing: Refugees fleeing Central America at the Border Wall

The border wall is a hot topic right now in the news. Exercise:

(1) What are the policy choices? What are all the different frames you can think of — the different ways to focus on the story — that you hear?

Important: people can usually take either side within a frame:

Take relief => the frame is that taxes are an affliction. "No new taxes" and "The rich should pay more" => both positions treat taxes like an affliction, opposite positions within the same frame.

(2) [usually easy] Which of these frames is more focused on the values you want to emphasize?