What's Next U.S.? (Post-Midterms 2018)

Conversation Guide

The 2016 Presidential Election brought unprecedented attention to our political system and put our differences into stark relief. Many observe that in the past two years, we’ve become even more divided as a country. Many have also been working towards restoring relationships around shared hopes and dreams, seeking to get our country re-focused on the work of governing and finding common ground. Now, after another socially polarized election, this conversation allows us to start exploring ‘what’s next.’ Whatever our differences, let’s look for deeper unities we can rest upon and promote, such as Generosity, Kindness, Dignity, Respect, and Freedom. And let’s explore how common values and a shared desire to solve common problems might help us move forward together.

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's Next U.S.?

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • What does the outcome of the midterm elections mean to you?
  • If the outcome was not what you hoped this time (or if you’ve been disappointed by previous elections), is there room for acceptance and a longer-term perspective?
  • How can you stay connected to others you care about who feel differently about the election?
  • Despite partisan division, what core values do you think Americans fundamentally agree on?
  • On issues where values are aligned, what common ground solutions would you like to explore?
  • Have you had any relationships damaged by politics? How might you begin to repair them?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ 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?

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