2020 Election - Concerns and Aspirations
As the 2020 election approaches our national anxiety is ramping up. Countless voices clamor for our attention—our donations—our time—our votes. Headlines and news broadcasts may present conflicting reports on issues to bolster specific views. Shrill ads play to our fears and overwhelm our senses. As we prepare to cast our ballots amidst all this noise, it can be difficult to connect our votes with our values. This conversation is an opportunity to share and reflect on our perspectives with others. It may be helpful in cutting through the clutter to best match our votes to our personal values and hopes for the future.
Background Information:While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
Let's Get Started!
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.
- What is motivating you to pay attention to or look away from certain political voices?
- What values are you hoping to promote? To protect?
- Where do you find news that you trust? Whose thoughts and opinions do you respect?
- How have you made your voting decisions in the past? What will determine how you cast your ballots in the future?
- What do you fear about the upcoming election?
- What do you hope for from the upcoming election?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
- What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?