Politics and Elections- Concerns and Aspirations
Headlines, news broadcasts, and social media present conﬂicting reports on the validity of the election results as well as issues like economic impacts of the pandemic, guns, immigration, border security, abortion, climate, healthcare, and other pressing matters – often using facts selected to bolster speciﬁc views. It can be difﬁcult to stay open-minded to new learning or understand the perspectives of those we disagree with. This conversation is an opportunity to share and reﬂect on our perspectives with others; cutting through the noise to seek a more productive exchange about our values, differing viewpoints and hopes for the future.
Background Information:Your voice and your opinion are what matter in the upcoming election. While many want something from you, want you to vote one way or another, our partner ActiVote only wants you to feel informed and confident about that vote.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
What do you think about Politics in Elections? (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- What is motivating you to pay attention to or look away from certain political voices?
- What values are you hoping to promote? To protect?
- Where do you ﬁnd news that you trust? Whose thoughts and opinions do you respect?
- How have you made your voting decisions in the past? What will determine how you cast your vote in the future?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?