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Episode 20: Humanizing Politics with Sarah and Beth from Pantsuit Politics

podcast Aug 23, 2021

Having a civil conversation about politics in our polarized society seems to be a near-impossible task these days. But why? In this episode, Sharon and hosts of Pantsuit Politics Beth and Sarah talk about how we can have kind, thoughtful and compassionate political discussions on and offline. Beth and Sarah talk about the political polarization we face today and why people get so up-in-arms about politics. Their answer: We care so much because we care about each other.  When we realize this, we are able to diffuse arguments and have political discussions with friends and family members that are centered around connection and relationship. Sharon, Beth and Sarah teach us how to have fruitful political conversations with our friends and family - even if they hold opposite views. Political conversations can be enriching, relationship-building and thought-provoking. There is so much to learn in this episode - let’s dive in! 

 

Link to Full Episode:

 

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • How social media has brought attention to polarization 
  • Trends that typically lead to national polarization 
  • How to manage online stress and who to reach out to for help 
  • Importance of expanding social circles to include different voices 
  • Why it’s okay to have conflict and not okay to try and immediately fix every political problem
  • Importance of human connection and relationship when talking about politics 
  • Animating principles and how does they guide our political conversations
  • How to navigate uncomfortable political conversations on and offline 

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Sharon, Beth and Sarah discuss why people believe the United States is the most polarized it has ever been. Beth and Sarah explain that there have been numerous times in American history that were more polarized than today, and they also share common national trends that typically lead to polarization. They discuss how social media has exacerbated the idea of polarization because people are able to be in constant conversation about their political differences with others. 
  • Beth and Sarah talk about the importance of listening to a variety of perspectives and voices when forming a political opinion. Whether it’s your grandpa or your friend from the coffee shop, it is beneficial to listen and learn about others’ beliefs. Beth and Sarah remind us that It is okay - even healthy - for a political society to have a diverse array of opinions, beliefs and people. As well, they shed light on a toxic, consumerist mindset that wants everyone to agree on political issues. 
  • Sharon, Beth and Sarah share helpful tactics to help listeners navigate uncomfortable political conversations on and offline. Centering conversations around connection while also upholding your personal “animating principle” allows political discussions to be helpful instead of harmful. An animating principle is the one unshakeable and guiding principle you want to uphold when having a political discussion. With our guiding principle always in the back of our mind and respect and care for the other person at the forefront, we can expect to see productive, fruitful and relationship-building political discussions. 

About the Guests:

Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers co-host the popular podcast, Pantsuit Politics and co-authored I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversation. Pantsuit Politics aims to help people understand politics, democracy and the news while treating each other like thoughtful human beings. They have been featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Parents and Elle magazines, and they are currently working on their next book (stay tuned!). 

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