What we're about

This is a group for anyone who has strong opinions about how to improve life in our world, or perhaps has an interest in developing such opinions, yet wants to hear the ideas of those who may think differently. Our goal will be to share our points of view on the most important issues of our time and then to look for common ground on how to make life better. This may involve circulating petitions, writing letters, or other ideas. At times we may decide our ideals lead us to still work at cross-purposes, but even then we will strive to understand and sympathize with each other.

Upcoming events (5+)

Political Ideology Spotlight: Liberalism/Progressivism

Wethersfield Public Library

We will using this time to examine a particular ideology which influences many people today. By understanding what others believe (and/or what we ourselves believe), we can better communicate & work toward the goals we have in common. Our setup for this event series will follow the format below, subject to revision based on the input of participants: Each person will choose three points on which they agree (or disagree least, if they are a hard-core opponent) and three on which they disagree (or have doubts/don't support as strongly) the consensus opinion within the ideology being discussed and explain the reasons. In order to have a shared understanding of what this ideology entails, below is some suggested background reading (please feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments to this event): The Cycles of American History by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

Contentious Topics: ???

Wethersfield Public Library

We will be discussing a topic on which reasonable people have a variety of different opinions. Our setup for this event series will follow the format below, subject to revision based on the input of participants: a) Beforehand, we choose a topic that at least a few of the active participants think is an important one. b) Everyone is free to suggest sources (books, articles, etc.) which they think might shed light on the issue, and we try to come with a few that have radically different perspectives. Each person who plans to attend reads as many as they can find and which their schedule allows. c) We open the meeting itself with an icebreaker of some kind, so that we can start the discussion from the perspective of knowing each other a little and hopefully be more civil & empathetic on that account. d) We each share our personal views. Other people may want to clarify with questions, but we should wait until everyone is done before entering any kind of argument. e) We try to find some kind of overlap between perspectives, and see whether this points to action of some kind. If so, we can take the first steps while still together. f) We can spend a few minutes discussing other issues that have come to our attention, and perhaps pick at topic for next time.

Political Ideology Spotlight: Conservatism

Wethersfield Public Library

We will using this time to examine a particular ideology which influences many people today. By understanding what others believe (and/or what we ourselves believe), we can better communicate & work toward the goals we have in common. Our setup for this event series will follow the format below, subject to revision based on the input of participants: Each person will choose three points on which they agree (or disagree least, if they are a hard-core opponent) and three on which they disagree (or have doubts/don't support as strongly) the consensus opinion within the ideology being discussed and explain the reasons. In order to have a shared understanding of what this ideology entails, below is some suggested background reading (please feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments to this event): The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought ed. William F. Buckley, Jr.

Contentious Topics: ???

Wethersfield Public Library

We will be discussing a topic on which reasonable people have a variety of different opinions. Our setup for this event series will follow the format below, subject to revision based on the input of participants: a) Beforehand, we choose a topic that at least a few of the active participants think is an important one. b) Everyone is free to suggest sources (books, articles, etc.) which they think might shed light on the issue, and we try to come with a few that have radically different perspectives. Each person who plans to attend reads as many as they can find and which their schedule allows. c) We open the meeting itself with an icebreaker of some kind, so that we can start the discussion from the perspective of knowing each other a little and hopefully be more civil & empathetic on that account. d) We each share our personal views. Other people may want to clarify with questions, but we should wait until everyone is done before entering any kind of argument. e) We try to find some kind of overlap between perspectives, and see whether this points to action of some kind. If so, we can take the first steps while still together. f) We can spend a few minutes discussing other issues that have come to our attention, and perhaps pick at topic for next time.

Past events (8)

Contentious Topics: ???

Wethersfield Public Library