Talking politics: A Thanksgiving guide to divisive conversations

A guide to keep conflicts from flaring up while you pass your uncle the pumpkin pie.

  • As American families gather around the table for Thanksgiving, there's no guarantee that everyone will have the same views when it comes to politics. This means that there's a lot of potential for conflicts to blow up as we pass one another the pumpkin pie.
  • The best approach is to not shy away from important conversations — yes, talk about politics. However, try to do so in a way that preferences understanding. In other words, instead of trying to change their position — as you beat them over the head with a drumstick — try to understand where they're coming from.
  • Chances are, just by asking them questions you will learn something new that you haven't considered before. That alone, intellectual humility, is something to cherish this holiday season.

How can we improve the quality of higher education?

By welcoming various intrepid thoughts, we welcome learning.

  • Viewpoint diversity describes a community where you have people approaching questions from a range of different perspectives.
  • When you have a lot of people asking questions and interrogating claims from a lot of different perspectives, community members are better able to see the nuance in whatever that subject of inquiry happens to be.
  • Heterodox Academy improves the quality of scholarship in higher education by increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement across lines of difference. A range of viewpoints are allowed in and are then interrogated on campus.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.