Political Dysfunction and Reform

Conversation Guide

Politically, these are unhealthy and politically dangerous times for our country. Public trust in government is hovering near all-time lows and vicious political partisanship is tearing civil society apart. These truths seem as self-evident as any. Where do we go from here? And what is our role as citizens?

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • 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?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Political Dysfunction and Reform?

  • What is the role of politics in your own life?
  • What is going wrong in our politics? What is going right?
  • Are elections in the United States fair?
  • Do our elected representatives faithfully represent us? Has “compromise” become a dirty word? Should it be?
  • How do we citizens promote dysfunction?
  • How do we promote effective government?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

  • 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?

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