The Surprising Delight of Shock Value

It’s not often you get to shock Glenn Beck.

But that’s exactly what happened when the well-known conservative voice and complicated figure in American media discovered his guest Joan Blades was the Co-Founder of the progressive

“Did the invitation to come on THIS program, did it make your head explode?!” laughs an astonished Beck after Joan revealed her history.

Last week, Beck had Blades, who of course is also the Co-Founder of Living Room Conversations, and Make America Dinner Again (MADA) Co-Creator Justine Lee, on his show.

You can watch the whole conversation here. That wonderfully humorous moment comes at minute 3:37 in the video.

When Beck, founder of TheBlaze, a multi-platform news and entertainment network, learned that two organizations he supports and respects were collaborating, he wanted to spread the word with his audience. The pandemic, after all, hasn’t slowed down the need to bridge divides through conversation, in fact, it’s made it more urgent than ever.

The Make America Dinner Again model consists of inviting 6-10 guests who have differing political viewpoints and our country’s best interests at heart, to engage in respectful conversation, and delicious food.

While we can’t gather in person for dinner right now, we can still have good conversation. MADA and Living Room Conversations teamed up to create a new LRC Conversation Guide, The Upcoming Election in the Time of Corona.    

We hope you can use this guide to have a meaningful conversation about the impact of the Coronavirus on our election, either by hosting your own using this simple step-by-step guide , or joining the conversation we host on May 26th.

It feels like so long ago when we thought the biggest focus of 2020 would be November’s election. So much has changed, yet that upcoming election is as important and contentious as ever.

COVID-19, though, has revealed a crack where the light can get through the armor of many Americans.

Instead of seeing those on the opposite side of the political divide as ignorant or evil, we now see each other’s willingness to sacrifice for the greater good as a value we share.

Instead of focusing on our differences, we see that it’s possible to make effective decisions quickly when we focus on our shared well-being.

Glenn Beck wants to join Living Room Conversations and MADA in our shared work to reach across the fractures of our lives and find common ground. He’s asked Justine and Joan to join him in hosting an online conversation about the Election in time of Corona.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels for more details about how you can be part of this conversation!

This moment is an inflection point that we may not see again in our lifetimes. It’s our chance to build our capacity for empathy; our capacity for listening; our capacity for checking our own worst instincts to dehumanize.

If not us, who? If not now, when?
Shannon Mannon
Newsletter Editor