You're Not As Crazy As I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations Between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/30/2012
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr

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Americans have been divided along political lines for so long that they have nearly forgotten how to talk to one another, much less how to listen. This is not likely to improve as long as differences between them continue to be cast in overly simplistic terms, such as ignorance vs. enlightened awareness or morality vs. reprobate immorality. Such dichotomies ignore the fact that many citizens who disagree politically nonetheless share a desire to work for the larger good of society. Phil Neisser, a self-described left-wing atheist, first met Jacob Hess, a social conservative, at the 2008 proceedings of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. After discovering a shared commitment to cross-party dialogue, they embarked together on a yearlong attempt to practice what they preached. In this book they share the result by exploring the boundaries of core disagreements about morality, power, gender roles, sexuality, race, big government, big business, and big media. Each chapter revolves around an issue explored in depth through back-and-forth, lively question and response. This nuanced, iterative process was transformative for both authors, and could likewise serve as a valuable resource for anyone-liberal or conservative-who feels disillusioned by today's often shallow, demagogic public discourse.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Foundational Issues
Differing Takes on Power and Authorityp. 15
Big Government, Big Media, Big Business, and Big Religionp. 39
What to Make of Values and Moralityp. 69
Hot Topics
Traditional Gender Roles: Blessing, Oppressing, or What?p. 105
Sexual Orientation Battles: Can We Disagree and Not Hate Each Other?p. 135
Ongoing Racial Tension: Inevitable or Escapable?p. 161
Conclusionp. 185
Notesp. 199
Selected Bibliographyp. 209
Indexp. 215
About the Authorsp. 221
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