The Practically Magical Third Thing

(This is not a fully written blog post. I’m making notes here for a more well-developed blog post later.)

Nut graf: Nothing of any consequence in our civic  life can be usefully framed as a choice between two mutually exclusive options.  Identifying a third thing–or even a fourth, fifth, and sixth thing–is a powerful technique for turning a two-sided, win-lose battle into a collaborative effort to explore the relative merits of different approaches.

Also: Turn an either/or choice into a both/and.

Two things into three things:

  • Pharmaceutical vs. placebo (versus doing nothing at all)
  • Regulating guns vs. concealed carry (versus a combination of both, plus mental health, compassion training in public schools, etc.)

In the civic discussions necessary for self-government, there are two sides to absolutely nothing.


About Karen McKim

Retired from a 30-year career in public sector quality assurance and management auditing, I now spend my time freelance writing, largely on topics related to our right to self-government. I have two main focuses: how we can protect our election results from miscounts (whether deliberate or accidental), and skills for talking politics with our fellow citizens. I am based in Wisconsin.
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