(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.