Author Archives: Karen McKim

About Karen McKim

Retired from a 30-year career in public sector quality assurance and management auditing, I now spend my time in civic activities promoting our ability to exercise our right to self-government. I have two focuses: verified accurate election results, and skills for talking politics with our fellow citizens. Based in Wisconsin.

Righteousness and self-righteousness: A practical lesson from the lawyers

Main point: Lawyers argue for a living, so they have skills we could use in political conversation. One of those skills is being able to adopt the perspective of your opponent. * * * We’re all amateurs in this political-conversation … Continue reading

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Change of heart > Change of facts

The two most common mistakes in political conversation, in my observation, are 1) insulting or feeling insulted and 2) relying too heavily on facts. In kindergarten, we learned what happens  when we insult people. It took a little longer, but … Continue reading

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Express your opinion on the topic or…awkward!

Key and Peele nailed it again. Okay, it’s satire. It’s exaggerated beyond what you’d see in real life. But oh, this real-world behavior is so ripe for satire. You’ve seen it. Someone knows they don’t have any share-able insights or … Continue reading

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Policy focus, person focus: A key to that elusive Democratic unity?

Main idea:  Using an observation that Clinton supporters’ thinking tends to focus primarily on personal attributes of the candidates and that Sanders supporters’ thinking tends to focus primarily on policy issues, I conclude that they could work better with each … Continue reading

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Useful links

For the past two years, my efforts in election administration have overtaken my efforts in interpersonal political communication, in much the same way that my efforts to put out a fire on the stove would likely overtake my efforts to … Continue reading

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Let’s you and me argue. You be the kook. (Part 2)

Main idea: If your conversation partner insists on refuting an argument you are not making, consider the possibility that he or she agrees with your arguments but is not yet emotionally ready to accept the conclusion.  If that is what … Continue reading

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The 4 Main Things to know about political conversation

With paid political speech drowning citizens’ voices in the halls of government and the news media, opting out of civic conversation in our own communities, with our friends and neighbors, is no longer a patriotic option. Here are four basic pointers on the way to productive, civil political conversation. Continue reading

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