In such a tense political climate, have we lost public discourse?
When Clay Aiken and “The View” host Sunny Hostin sat down with students from an Iowa high school to talk politics, they found that both sides of the argument had one common denominator: Fear.
Last Friday’s Bold TV began with an under-the-weather Clay Skyping in to join Bold Editor David Grasso at the desk. They continued the conversation of race relations from the previous week’s Bold TV show, airing an excerpt from Clay’s “The View” appearance from Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
On The View, students discussed their view of politics after this election season. “What we have to focus on now is not Donald Trump, it’s hate,” one of the students said. Clay called out the high schoolers for “talking right past each other,” David said.
Clay compared our conversations — or lack thereof — to the way we flip through Tinder. “We’re swiping left or right on our friends…based on their opinion on one issue,” Clay said. He credits the rise of social media with the lack of dialogue. We are a society who takes information and gives opinions “at the same time” in 140 characters or less. We are not taking the time to have a longer conversation, Clay said.
Clay argued that we have lost the art of public discourse. We often talk past each other and when we hear that someone is on the other side of the argument from us, we tune them out. “The opposition, if you want to call it that, is not really interested in listening to anyone,” Clay said. “I think it’s the problem with those [Iowa] teenagers. I think it’s the problem we’re seeing across the country.”
David points out that not only teenagers have this problem; adults do too. Hopefully, public discourse can improve and allow those who disagree to actually listen to each other. In the age of Donald Trump, we certainly need it.
Watch the #BoldTV segment here or on our Facebook page.