About a year into the Trump presidency, the level of anger and hatred in the United States was starting to get to me.
I wanted to promote the idea of people talking respectfully to each other about issues instead of jumping straight to hatred and yelling. So I bought the domain letreasonwin.org and set up a little website there.
I had a lot of fun setting it up and designing a bumper sticker and other merch over a weekend, and I had stickers and buttons made that I gave away to everyone I met. (The LetReasonWin merch Zazzle page is still live.)
A few years later, even though the divisiveness here is even worse, I’ve decided to take the site down. I have so many domains, and it’s foolish to spend the money on this.
Rather than just deleting all the content, I’m moving it here to a blog post. So here it is: what remains of my glorious [and, admittedly, incredibly naive] “Let Reason Win” campaign.
Let Reason Win!
Politics & religion don’t have to divide us. It’s time to stop arguing and start getting along. This isn’t about us vs. them. It’s about working together to improve the world we all share. Here’s how it works, in four steps:
1. Chill: Be Kind
Let’s dial things down a notch and chill out!
In every facet of life, a good approach is to be kind. Here’s a brief article about how being kind is good for you, and here’s a piece from the National Review on how kindness can make political discussions more productive.
2. Listen: Get Out of Your Box
If you stop and listen to others, you may find some areas where you agree.
Check out how folks in other countries see things, even if you don’t speak their language. Check out English Online International Newspapers from Inkdrop News. (Be sure to see their US newspapers: three each from conservative, centrist, and liberal positions.)
3. Discuss: Play Nice
Debate and discuss instead of yelling and demonizing: it’s the only way to move forward.
Here’s a Harvard Business Review article, How to Talk Politics at Work Without Alienating People. There’s also an article put out by the TED folks called How to talk about politics constructively. Finally, here’s a handy LifeHacker piece with steps you can take to have a rational political discussion with friends and family. And here’s another article on managing difficult political conversations without it getting too stressful.
4. Learn: Is it True?
Let’s learn from each other and talk about how we can coexist.
Don’t contribute to the “fake news” madness! Get the facts — especially if it’s a viewpoint that you don’t share. Check the facts behind memes and quotes on Snopes. Dig even deeper into the facts by going to FactCheck.org, which is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and is considered a good, unbiased resource.