Some years ago, when the blogging thing was first taking off, here in Memphis we had blogger meets. We would get together at a restaurant and bloggers, left, right and center would discuss our politics, our struggles on the back end and all that stuff. I am kind of sad that those meets petered out.
Some of the books I am currently reading include Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto (Keynes, among others, are also in my queue). When Air America was broadcasting in Memphis, I would listen to it. I do these things to understand "that side" of things. I do not listen to and read things that confirm what I think, I include viewpoints that are different than mine because I want them to challenge me. I am not afraid to change my position on something when I learn something I did not know before.
And because I like quoting our Founding Fathers, let me quote Jefferson here:
Many of my friends and acquaintances "lean Left," shall we say. There are several I love to have the deep, philosophical discussions on the issues of the day. There are several I want to take a mallet to in those kind of discussions and the rest we quietly agree to disagree and don't discuss politics at all. But as Tom says, I will never end a friendship over a difference of opinion. They might, I won't.
I bring this up because on one of the podcasts I listen to while driving from job to job, Dylan Marron and his podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me came up. His TED talk on the subject is here:
I want to sit down and have 4+ hour discussions with those who deeply disagree with me, to dig into their thoughts and beliefs, to challenge them to stand up to those beliefs. I also want them to return the favor. This is how we communicate with each other. I talk about communication in my earlier post At, To and With.