Reply To: Can we channel the right hemisphere to fix our politics?

  • Don Salmon

    November 27, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Hi again Daniel:

    You know, I’m going to offer you a little challenge.

    Do you want to attempt a conscious dialog?

    There was an 8 part PBS series several decades back. A liberal and conservative were invited on a specific issue. My favorite episode is when a Leftist pro Castro intellectual was invited and a Rightist anti-Castro intellectual was invited.

    The format was:

    First guy states his position, 2<sup>nd</sup> guy restates it to first guy’s satisfaction.

    The anti-Castro guy went first. The pro-Castro guy LITERALLY could not get ANY words out of his mouth that were negative about Castro.

    It was a model of how NOT to have a dialog.

    So here’s an idea. I got the impression from your first comment – in which you took everyone else to task for being biased, lost in the LH, having no empathy for the ‘other side’ – maybe you could try a more dialogic approach:

    “Hi folks, I’m Daniel, I’m working on a book on how we can communicate our different views in a respectful way. I’m going to start by modeling this.

    I think ‘x” about this particular issue. I’m now to going to try to describe the opposite position, and make an attempt to say how I see the validity of it from others’ perspectives”

    or something like that.

    I don’t know if you saw my comment about climate change, but that could be a great place to start.

    What do you think?

    (by the way, even if your comment was not to me, would you possibly be willing to acknowledge it may not have been as ideally dialogic as you might have wished? And if you want to start with climate change, I’d love to start there. As far as I can see there is now almost universal agreement on the science, but intense disagreement about the means. I’d love to explore what it would be like to have a calm, empathic, gentle dialog about the means.

    Congrats, by the way – this is an urgently needed practice. Let’s see if we can model it together!