The House of Representatives has voted on two articles of impeachment that make Donald Trump the third president in American history to be impeached. The news media has heavily focused on this process for over three months. Whether or not the Senate trial results in acquittal or conviction, the process and vote of impeachment seems to have increased conversations and concerns about political polarization, the role of the news media and the use of impeachment in the future, among other issues. How has this political climate shifted our country and democratic process? What does it mean to our lives as Americans? What does it mean to you?
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?
Impeachment (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk.
- Were you aware of the Nixon impeachment investigations and the Clinton impeachment? If so, what impact did either of those processes have on your experience of our country’s political atmosphere? How may that have changed over time?
- How much of your attention have you given to this process? To what degree has it impacted your life?
- What impact has our growing political division had on your life and relationships?
- What are your hopes and concerns for our country regardless of the outcome in the Senate?
- What do you believe it will take to move towards a less divided Congress and country?
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?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?