Thursday, July 13, 2006

We the People in Polite Conversation

The American Heritage Dictionary says Conversation is a spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions; a talk.

When this country was founded, freedom of speech was important. I imagine, even when they did not agree, they had the opportunity to hear new ideas, to persuade and be persuaded, to experience different perspectives. Today, TV shows hav
e opposing experts who tell their sides of an issue, often loudly, lecturing, not letting the other side get a word in, and definitely not listening. Each expert has a predetermined agenda and a predetermined spiel they say no matter what question is asked. These are not exchanges, they are not discussions, they are not conversations.

What if people gathered for a conversation? People like you and me, members of all political parties, could talk about the issues important to us? Well, let's do it --

Let's Talk America is an invitation to have a conversation in local venues where Americans can
talk about what freedom and democracy means to them. Attendees have a face-to-face conversation with people who have various political views. Then they are invited to report on the experience.

Be ready to talk, to listen, to exchange ideas -- that means giving and getting -- and participate in a polte and exciting conversation. Remember Isaac Newton said, "Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy." Making your point tactfully means it is likely to be heard and considered.

Speaking in anger or disrespect means your point is likely to be disregarded.
Dorothy Nevill said, "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

To host or attend a conversation near you or just to learn more, visit the Let's Talk America site.

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