Tag Archives: american democracy

Open Mic Night in Middleton: Speaking Our Values

Join us on Thursday evening, March 19, 6PM, at the Craftsman Pub in Middleton for Open Mic Night. We’ll be discussing “Speaking Our Values: The Key to Effective Political Speech.” Good music, good food, good beer, and great conversation! Continue reading

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What are they trying to do? Understanding motives in political conversation

When talking politics, it’s useful to be aware of the participants’ motives (both your own and your conversation partner’s). This blog post explores how to identify and respond to the types of motives people often bring to political conversations. Continue reading

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Political conversation in action: Once spoken to, Larry Orr now speaks for peace.

Larry Orr was not born to speak for peace. One of his first, strongest memories is of being a 3-year-old playing in his back yard in Muscatine, Iowa when two P-38 fighters flew over at treetop level.  Their deafening noise … Continue reading

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George Lakoff recommends…

George Lakoff was in Wisconsin for the past few days lecturing at several different events. While I didn’t hear him say anything that wasn’t in at least one of his books and don’t agree with everything he teaches, the question-and-answer … Continue reading

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If you are not a paid pundit, don’t talk like one.

Main point: It’s useful to learn about ‘messaging’ and ‘framing’ for one-way communications like letters to the editor, and so that we know when polished political spin is being used to manipulate us. But speaking in the phrases recommended by … Continue reading

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Stitching up democracy

I have been reading, studying, practicing, and blogging about interpersonal political conversation techniques for going on a year now. Talking politics: If we don’t learn how, our American civic discourse will consist of nothing but political messages crafted on Madison Avenue … Continue reading

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Are we debaters, salesmen, or citizens?

Members of my local grassroots club have better-than-average political conversation skills. That’s not surprising: Anyone who willingly attends  weekly political meetings gets more practice than the average person. And yet last week’s meeting was derailed by an all-too-common pitfall. When … Continue reading

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