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The Other Side: We Need Civil Discourse Now More Than Ever

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Created: 20 February, 2017
Updated: 17 October, 2022
1 min read

In the fall of 2014, Joe and his dog Charlie set out to chip away at the ever increasing barriers between liberals and conservatives, simply by starting a conversation. Joe had a hunch that we have more in common than we think. The problem is we don't engage in civil discussions with one another. Thus was born “The Other Side: A liberal democrat explores conservative America,” a film co-produced by IVN and its 501(c)(3) co-publisher, the Foundation for Independent Voter Education (FIVE). In July of 2015, Joe teamed up with IVN and FIVE and was able to raise $50,000 to cover travel and production costs for his documentary. The result can be found on Joe's website.

Promoting healthy dialogue between opposing sides appears to be both as crucial and difficult as ever. With unprecedented division, polarization, and outright anger, the idea of having a productive political dialogue with the other side seems incredibly daunting. Following mainstream and social media, it would appear that we can no longer even agree on the facts upon which our arguments are based. Exhibit A: Sweden. Joe's film proves that this doesn't have to be so. When we dig deeper than surface level talking points, reactionary media reports, and partisan attacks, we can find common ground in the oft-overlooked nuances of the biggest issues that divide us.

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