Political Conversation

How to turn the political conversation around Insightful talks that can help improve political debate so that we can build toward a better society - ted

TED michael_sandel_the_lost_art_of_democratic_debate Democracy thrives on civil debate, Michael Sandel says — but we're shamefully out of practice. He leads a fun refresher, with TEDsters sparring over a recent Supreme Court case (PGA Tour Inc. v. Martin) whose outcome reveals the critical ingredient in justice.

Michael Sandel wants to take the idea of civil debate online to explore moral questions.

TED mark_forsyth_what_s_a_snollygoster_a_short_lesson_in_political_speak Most politicians choose their words carefully, to shape the reality they hope to create. But does it work? Etymologist Mark Forsyth shares a few entertaining word-origin stories from British and American history (for instance, did you ever wonder how George Washington became "president"?) and draws a surprising conclusion.

TED jonas_gahr_store_in_defense_of_dialogue In politics, it seems counterintuitive to engage in dialogue with violent groups, with radicals and terrorists, and with the states that support them. But Jonas Gahr Støre, the foreign minister of Norway, makes a compelling case for open discussion, even when our values diverge.

TED sally_kohn_let_s_try_emotional_correctness It's time for liberals and conservatives to transcend their political differences and really listen to each other, says political pundit Sally Kohn. In this optimistic talk, Kohn shares what she learned as a progressive lesbian talking head on Fox News. It’s not about political correctness, she says, but rather, emotional correctness.

TED james_geary_metaphorically_speaking Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says.

TED arthur_brooks_a_conservative_s_plea_let_s_work_together Conservatives and liberals both believe that they alone are motivated by love while their opponents are motivated by hate. How can we solve problems with so much polarization? In this talk, social scientist Arthur Brooks shares ideas for what we can each do as individuals to break the gridlock. "We might just be able to take the ghastly holy war of ideology that we're suffering under and turn it into a competition of ideas," he says.