The season of gathering and feasting is upon us. If that means you’ll be eating with family this year, you might be hyper aware that sharing DNA doesn’t necessarily mean sharing the same opinions about things—like politics. With so much happening in the news these days, you may be dreading the more prickly conversations that are bound to come up. But being forced to spend time with relatives you disagree with might not be such a bad thing.
Since the election, we’ve seen the rise of a number of groups and initiatives aimed at making some of these difficult discussions easier. For a recent episode of our food politics podcast Bite, reporter Jenny Luna went to a dinner party focused entirely on having awkward political conversations. Organized by a group called “Make America Dinner Again,” the parties bring together people with different viewpoints over a meal. In our Nov/Dec issue, writer Dashka Slater looks at the techniques groups are using to facilitate civil conversations. (Interestingly enough, one cognitive linguist said that we shouldn’t argue policy and facts, but rather talk at the “level of the heart.”) The conversations certainly aren’t easy, but they can be an opportunity for transformation, learning, and increased empathy on both sides.
This Thanksgiving, we’re interested in hearing from you. Did politics come up at the dinner table this week? Did you try something new to encourage a more civil or productive conversation? Tell us what happened.
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