When was the last time you talked politics with someone on the other side?

Transpartisan Note #138

by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner

At the heart of the transpartisan impulse lies the imperative to bring people with differing opinions together, encourage them to respect each other’s biases, and offer them the opportunity to seek solutions for their communities through meaningful conversations across political divides.

On January 23, 2021,  AllSides, the news platform that provides balanced perspectives by sharing information and ideas from “all sides” of the political spectrum, will be hosting AllSides Talks: a day of political dialogue embracing the very ideals that inspire this transpartisan impulse.

Asking “when was the last time you talked politics with someone on the other side?”, AllSides Talks  plans to bring hundreds of people from across America to “meet for one-on-one and small group conversations to discuss issues that matter to all Americans.”

Getting involved is easy. First AllSides Talks asks you to answer a few generic and non-intrusive questions about your political leanings and the issues facing America right now. You will then be matched with someone from another part of the country who answered the questions differently than you. If you choose to meet, you can arrange a video call using tools provided by AllSides to help make it a great conversation and experience.  We think this is good experiment to learn ways to integrate shared experiences dividing American politics.

The AllSides mission – to strengthen our democratic republic by freeing people from filter bubbles so they can better see the world and each other – is on full display when visiting their website. Using a unique “media bias rating” system to assess over 800 media outlets and authors, AllSides presents daily news and information from multiple sources with differing biases. The reader then gets to read and experience events from a variety of perspectives. This is an important initiative designed to remove the information separation contributing to political fights. We believe it is best for everyone to know where we disagree.

We feel the more opportunities the 70% of voting-eligible, politically-unaffiliated citizens have to engage with one another and the organized political parties, the more this “transpartisan impulse” will take hold. The more focused the remarkable, political energies exploding across American and global society are, the more positive the change within the political system will be.

Join your fellow citizens on January 23rd to be part of the process.

(Image from the AllSides website. Additional text and editing by Andy Fluke.)

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