The Six Types of Political Conversations
Our political discussions usually only cover platform issues like the economy, healthcare, national security, equal rights, or the second amendment. But when talking politics, it would be good to begin by briefly discussing the foundation on which we build our political beliefs. People might not even realize what foundation they are using to support their platform, so emphasizing this topic at the beginning of a conversation could help bring awareness to the issue and create a more productive dialogue once the talk transitions to platform issues.
The foundation on which we build our platform could be made up of dogma, reason or a combination of both. From that basis, in a political discussion between two people there are six different interactions that could take place.
Dogma vs. Dogma
Dogma vs. Dogma/Reason
Dogma vs. Reason
Dogma/Reason versus/with Dogma/Reason
Reason versus/with Dogma/Reason
Reason with Reason
A person of reason is intellectually humble. Intellectually humble persons exhibit five traits:
They admit room for doubt, and leave no room for certainty.
They admit that they could be wrong.
They challenge their own beliefs.
They welcome other people challenging their beliefs.
They see their worldview as a work in progress, so their mind is open to being changed.
These are characteristics of a person that cares about truth.
In contrast, dogma is the mind’s ability to build barriers to protect our opinion of the truth. To build those barriers, dogmatic people exhibit five traits:
They are certain they are right, and they have no room for doubt.
They are unwilling to admit they could be wrong.
They never challenge their own beliefs.
They resent other people challenging their beliefs.
They see their worldview as a closed system.
These are characteristics of people who care more about their opinion of the truth than the truth.
The Six Conversations
1. Dogma vs. Dogma
Dogma vs. dogma is when both people in a political discussion have built their entire platform on a foundation of dogma so both people exhibit the five traits of a dogmatic mind on all of their political beliefs. There is not one political opinion that either person has on which they are willing to admit they could be wrong, wiling to challenge, welcome being challenged, or are open to their opinion being changed. These are two people who care only about their opinion of the truth on all of their views. If the goal is truth, the food and water that a healthy democracy needs, then this is the least productive interaction.
2. Dogma vs. Dogma/Reason
Dogma vs. dogma/reason is when one side has built its entire political platform on a foundation of dogma, and the other side has built part of its platform on dogma and part of their platform on reason. The person whose platform is built on both dogma and reason has some political views that exhibit the five traits of a dogmatic mind and some views that exhibit the traits of a person of reason.
3. Dogma vs. Reason
Dogma versus reason is when one side has built their entire political platform on a foundation of dogma, and the other side in the conversation has built its entire political platform on a foundation of reason.
4. Dogma/Reason versus/with Dogma/Reason
Dogma/reason versus/with dogma/reason is when both sides have built part of their platform on a foundation of dogma and part on a foundation of reason. Each side has political views on which it is close-minded and some views in which it is open-minded.
5. Reason versus/with Dogma/Reason
Reason versus/with dogma/reason is when one person in a conversation has built part of their political platform on a foundation of dogma and part of it on a foundation of reason, and the other person has built their entire political platform on a foundation of reason.
6. Reason with Reason
Reason-with-reason is when both people in a conversation have built their entire political platform on a foundation of reason. It is “with” instead of “versus” because, no matter how much two people disagree on platform issues, if they built their entire platform on a foundation of reason then they are on the same team. No matter how opposed the platform beliefs, for “reason-with-reason,” there is no longer an “us-vs.-them” mindset. The goal is the same: truth. For reason-with-reason conversations, on every issue both people care more about truth than their opinion of the truth, so they see their entire worldview as a work in progress. No matter where they each are on the journey towards a worldview that consists of nothing but truth, they are both on the same journey, helping one another move further on that path. In a healthy democracy (in a healthy relationship of any sort) the goal is reason with reason.
The Logos Party’s goal is for all political discourse, no matter how much two people or parties disagree, to be based on foundations of reason. When people disagree reason-with-reason is usually not human nature’s natural interaction. If left to chance, we often resort to passionate dogma-versus-dogma conversations with all sides thinking they are the side of reason. The Logos Party serves as a symbol to emphasize the importance of being more intentional about focusing on the foundation underneath our platforms so that we will then be more intentional about being people of reason who have passionate reason with reason conversations.
Picture this: at the beginning of every political discussion—whether it is on the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives, a meeting in the Oval Office, diplomatic talks between heads of state, the floor of the state legislature, town halls, interviews between journalists and guests, high school and college classrooms, debate stages, or dinner tables across America—people take a moment to talk about the foundation underneath their platform in order to try to establish that the conversation will be reason with reason. Doing that at the beginning of every political discussion would serve as accountability. If during the political discussion it appears that someone has resorted to dogma, the group can refer back to the beginning of the conversation where everyone agreed that the talk was going to be reason with reason to hold the person exhibiting dogmatic tendencies accountable.