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And we. We we have discussions with a spirit of cooperation and charity my burglar in laws really into conspiracy carries that has no shame talking about them and pushing the issue and a whole range of issues last time he pushed the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and John protest there will be a child sex ring and he also has pushed this idea that man did not land on the moon and one time expressed disagreement with them and why this agreed and how I thought there was a lack of evidence and it led to a long and rather painful conversation .
And , and , well , everyone in their into a woman and my wife and I are going down to Tennessee , where I and my family are fronts for Thanksgiving and the most of the family that I’m gonna be visiting voted for Trump passes this step up. I love them and respect them and understand why a lot of Americans voted for him , but I’m also at the same time brimming with information and opinions about politics today and I am 1 a share , but I don’t know if it’s a great idea , and if anything I need some advice on how not provocative how politics at Thanksgiving dinner table .
And I mean it is no idea. The way I mean pointing the uncomfortable Thanksgiving conversations used by not going at Thanksgiving dinner .
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with us and we’d like to hear from you to the phones are open this hour did anything you just heard in that little audio Oman Taj resonate with you. How are you preparing to deal with those dinnertime conversations at Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays or do you have questions about how best to do that , give us a call 8552361 A 1 A tell us what conversation you are dreading this Thanksgiving , or if you figured out a way to deal with it . Maybe with the person you’re dreading talking to . We’d love to hear about that too . Maybe from both of you . If both of your willing to call him 8-5 5-2 3-6 1-8 one a 5-5 2-3 6 1-2 1-2 joining us to discuss this in studio is Caroline Lucas Meijer , the Executive Director of the National Institute for civil discourse Carolyn welcome to one 1A , thank you so much for having me . And joining us from Nashville is David plus the opinion and engagement editor for the USA Today Network Tennessee David welcome . Hello , Joshua . Thank you so much . David , we heard from a Tennessee and in Oman Taj so maybe I start with you , how much of what we heard in that little piece reflects what you’re hearing from Tennessee is heading into Thanksgiving .
I’m here quite a bit that people are dreading heartburn over Thanksgiving well because some guest might say something controversial or offensive. And when I asked a few weeks ago for readers to send in some letters . You know , what can we do to improve civility in America it’s really amazing work what people said , and some of it is common sense , some of it is the things that you learn in kindergarten like listening . The whole notion of active listening is something that we need to recover again in this country . But you’re absolutely right . I’m hearing this all the time . How do we do this was just meeting with a group of students from Belmont University yesterday who said we don’t wanna go to Thanksgiving , because I’m afraid I have this uncle who says all these terrible things , and he’s just gonna provoke a fight but it really doesn’t have to be that way .
Carolyn look inspire. We heard a lot of the same thing last year after the election particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas people saying I don’t wanna go home because we know that this is just going to be easy . The topic of conversation . Understandably , you know . Electing a president a big deal , do you think that this year is worse is different compared to to last year or is this about you know if we take a long lens of this is this just kind of the way things are and were just noticing it more now .
Well , first of all think it’s important to note that literally last year was the first time this came up in terms of rising to the level that David acknowledged in that we see it and I ICT we got literally thousands of messages via Presidential Election is over , people go back to their lives , and they may hold what take 2000 that was another controversial election for the electoral college went one way in the popular vote win another way , and I’m sure a lot of people who voted for Gore never gave George W a real chance . But they didn’t walk around hating people who voted for George W Bush .and email with exactly the same comments that came from your earlier listeners this year. It is not quite as high of volume . So I think in fact people are kinda settling into this is a dynamic that’s different , when we’ve talked to a lot of political historians on the whole it illogical spectrum and they say , you know this is a year after the election and they say this is the first time that people who voted for one candidate or the other candidate are still holding the opposite voters with victory all with demonizing them hitting them . This hasn’t happened since the Civil War usually after a
Well , I think also in that election. You know a lot of people directed their ire at the court system because of the way that Bush V Gore came down , as opposed to at the other candidate . It felt like it was like out of everyone’s hands .
Good point , but we now sit where this incivility , is really like a virus amongst people it happens in our homes , which is what Thanksgiving is the big threat but it’s happening in our churches and synagogues and even mosques and the biggest surprise to us is we’re actually getting calls from businesses , small businesses major corporations. The message being we’ve got product innovation teams that still have not come back to the same level of productivity . Prior to the election . Wow .
So , so this is hurting this is hurting family relationships. This is hurting workplaces and I do want to talk more about how we did do that especially had actually thought about workplaces but but that may yet come up in our conversation were speaking to Caroline Lucas Meijer , the Executive Director of the National Institute for civil discourse David Plaza ski opinion engagement editor for the USA Today Network , Tennessee , and with you the phone lines are open . We’d love to hear your stories about how you plan to handle political conversation at Thanksgiving . This year is it worse than it was in 2016 . Have you decided just not to show up , or have you figured out a way to head off some of these conversations before they turn into fights over the dinner table to call 8552361 A 1 A at 8-5 5-2 3-6 1-2 1-2 if the phone lines are jammed up you can always email us one at WAMU.org comment on our Facebook page or tweet us at one day , let’s dive in on the phones and will begin in Grand Rapids , Michigan , where Katie is on the line . Hi . Katie what’s on your mind .
Hi there. Last year I was Thanksgiving , so much so that I actually ended up act without leave starting a political movement . I have my family I just how here are still good people , but it felt like we can and agree on anything that I really heard that a lot of us are frustrated with the system of politics . So if you have a Facebook status saying hey , I’m thinking about taking on gerrymandering a Michigan . Let me know if you wanna join in it , and it actually turned into this huge movement and our state . We’re going after 2018 violinist is but at that time it has been that my entire family ended up volunteering for that even though we don’t agree it’s what it’s clear and I continuously hear from a volunteer that actually having a camp and so focused on being nonpartisan and having conversations with different political beliefs and I believe him completely focused on that too has really helped them have you know hope in and feel good about talking if you feel about politics again because , which focus on the solution .
That’s him. First of all , well that’s amazing so so you so you decided I don’t make sure I understand your story you decided to focus on gerrymandering over Thanksgiving dinner or you decided to just skip talking politics of Thanksgiving and this came up this gerrymandering idea came up after Thanksgiving .
Yeah , I know I would. It was because of the very bigger things giving its own economic base here a little bit horrifically sick Thanksgiving and then we were able to talk about it at Thanksgiving , and it was the first time in over a year where we’re actually able to talk about solutions and how we actually did have more agreement rather than disagreement , which has really meant a lot I think although state .
And that’s , and so that is amazing , Katy. Thank you for calling in and by the way gerrymandering is the one topic that whatever early in the show , we said what topic , do you want us to talk about on this brand talk show everyone gerrymandering . So you can go back and here our conversations about gerrymandering on our website . The one A.org . That’s the word that you know the number one , the letter A.org David .
Just you know , when I tell you the doing something really important when it comes to stability because oftentimes people think you know it’s passive weaker surrounding once ground but the reality is stability is is really about practicing discipline. It’s a commitment to citizenship . It’s embracing American values of pluralism and speaking boldly but kindly and more importantly listening and this is exactly what this caller did . So that’s really , really heartening .
Well , I want to congratulate Katie and she is emblematic of the most positive thing we’re seeing all over the country. Americans know this deep divisiveness is not right . They know it’s harming their families . It’s even harming work but what they also know is there something they can do about it .
And I do want to talk more about what we can do about it when we continue our conversation with David plazas and Caroline Lucas Meyer. Even those of you who agree with your relatives on politics are struggling Jeffrey wrote us on Facebook . My family is pretty much a Trump hate fest . And so .