Finished I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening) by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth A Silvers. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“More than ever, politics seems driven by conflict and anger. People sitting together in pews every Sunday have started to feel like strangers, loved ones at the dinner table like enemies. Toxic political dialogue, hate-filled rants on social media, and agenda-driven news stories have become the new norm. It’s exhausting, and it’s too much.
In I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening), two working moms from opposite ends of the political spectrum contend that there is a better way. They believe that we can
choose to respect the dignity of every person,
choose to recognize that issues are nuanced and can’t be reduced to political talking points,
choose to listen in order to understand,
choose gentleness and patience.
Sarah from the left and Beth from the right invite those looking for something better than the status quo to pull up a chair and listen to the principles, insights, and practical tools they have learned hosting their fast-growing podcast Pantsuit Politics. As impossible as it might seem, people from opposing political perspectives truly can have calm, grace-filled conversations with one another—by putting relationship before policy and understanding before argument.”
I don’t listen to Pantsuit Politics (I have one political podcast, and that is my beloved Hellbent.) but as someone who loves talking politics, I knew that I wanted to read this.
I think that the idea of being able to meet in the middle, find common ground and work to find solutions from there is a good one but it’s not always practical. For example, I’m gay. Our common ground has to start from a place of “I think you should be treated the same as every other citizen, including not getting fired or evicted for who you are and I think you should be allowed to get married.” I don’t care what else we have in common if you can’t start there. It’s not my job to convince you to treat me like a human being.
But there are times when it would work. I don’t think anyone is enjoying the rash of mass shootings, and I think there are a lot of solutions (although the biggest one really has to be “make sure that not every single person can acquire every single gun”) that are worth exploring.
There’s a lot packed into this slim book, and I think it’s incredibly valuable. There are tips in making sure you actually know policy and can discuss the issues without repeating talking points (which can be hard!).
This is a good starting place and I’m hoping a lot more people will join me in talking politics. It matters and it’s an important thing to be knowledgeable about and discuss. Recommended.