TV: “How to Talk Politics with People Different from You”

The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s September 2015 TV program deals constructively with our na-tion’s political polarization. We explore practical ways to communicate across the political divide, so we can all move forward.

When Americans have such sharply different values and worldviews, we lack a common starting point about what is real and true. This makes it hard to have rational conversations about controversial issues – and hard to solve public policy problems.

Are we stuck with escalating polarization? Or can we find better ways to respect the basic humanity even of people with whom we disagree?

Of course, when we advocate for particular public policies, we want to convince people on the other side. But before we can persuade anyone, we need to find starting points, strategies and methods that will allow us to become more effective in persuading the public, the media, the politicians, and other decision-makers. Some kinds of strategies and methods work better than others. Let’s learn from what works!

Three guests help us explore this topic. All have decades of skilled experience and many wise insights:

Michael Savoca has volunteered as an advocate for a variety of public policy issues and draws from a variety of other experiences. I have enjoyed hearing Michael share his experiences and his wise in-sights into how to discuss political issues effectively.

John Van Eenwyk is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist and an Episcopal priest. He has solid experience working with people who have suffered from political and physical violence in many parts of the world. He also founded the International Trauma Treatment Program, which this TV program has featured several times over the years.

Regon Unsoeld draws from decades of experience as a highly dedicated and creative classroom teacher who has helped students grapple with controversial issues. He has volunteered at the local, state and local levels of the teachers’ union, and he has volunteered in many community level issues and activities to support democracy and human rights.

To watch the interview, CLICK HERE.

To read a thorough summary of what we said, Program Description — September 2015.

About GlenAnderson 1465 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093