For People Who Believe in the Power of Thinking Together
Our Questions of Civic Proportions Newsletter features the questions, ideas, and good work that lend extra power to the civic-minded.
Political Thinking for Everyday Citizens
In an instant, the right song has the power to transport across time and space to some past moment. On this day, there’s a song that transports me to a moment that we share.
At some point in the day, every April 4th, I think “A shot rang out in the Memphis sky.”
This is the shot that killed Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. A shot that marks the end of so much, a final chapter in the Civil Rights Movement.
I grew up watching Wonder Woman fly across the country in her invisible jet. My grandmother loved Linda Carter in this show. I was very young, and she wanted me to feel empowered by this female superhero.
I recently discovered one of my favorite Harriet Tubman quotes. The words describe her. They are not her own but they still speak to why it’s important to hear voices like hers.
There’s a bad idea masquerading as a principled commitment to free speech. We know we have a disinformation problem, but we have yet to decide what we can do to fight against it.
In the days following the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Twitter took action against misinformation by banning President Trump. One study measured that misinformation declined by 73% on that platform as a result. This decision also spurred an effort to remove QAnon accounts promoting false claims of election fraud. Then came the complaints of censorship and that “big tech” had steamrolled the First Amendment.
It would be absurd to send a normal newsletter this week. Luckily, my family only suffered inconveniences during this winter storm in Texas. These inconveniences, however, are still best understood as the failure of government.
“Two Americas” has been a theme in our political discussion for decades. Headlines in January warned that a “clash of Two Americas” was real and could get worse.” That’s a tale of Republicans vs. Democrats. It reads like a rhetorical device, something that amps up the drama.
It has roots in our past. We can’t let it slip through our collective memory and become just another strategy to get more clicks.
Our digital lives make it so that information washes over us all day, every day. People announce when they decide to quit social media and disconnect for any period of time. We have to devise a plan not to watch all the stories develop in a never-ending scroll of updates. We need to protect time to think.
An evening of deliberate thinking proved to be more refreshing than the usual social media detox. We started the evening as skeptics. An evening of thoughtful conversation restored our faith in humanity.
My Fellow Citizens,A lot of magic happens on a successful Inauguration Day. This 59th rotationthrough the ceremonies and traditions came with a shared sense of relief after everything had seemed so dangerously compromised. While there is logistical wizardry at every...