A few weeks ago Candace Owens was all the buzz when she pushed back on Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA) not allowing him to mis-characterize what she said and her character.
You can watch that exchange below:
Candace Owens: “I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip…That was unbelievably dishonest…I’m deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me.” pic.twitter.com/UioMSZK93d
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 9, 2019
That clip became the most watched C-SPAN video on twitter.
But the clip from the hearing that matters was her opening.
Quick, sharp and un-flappable, Owens is quickly becoming a large part of the political conversation.
A fan of Owens or not, her arguments are extension of Dr Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman – so she is swimming in the deep end of the pool. An advocate for the the people she cares the most about (her own), Owens isn’t afraid of typically off-limit topics.
A deeper dive shows what separates her from the pack is less about the topics she is willing to step into and more about whom she is willing to step into those topics with.
In a recent article in the New York Times, Author Brooks argues that our problem isn’t that we argue or disagree too much, but that we don’t argue or disagree the right way.
Our goal should not be to disagree less, but it should be to disagree better.
Anybody who’s tried to disagree better knows it isn’t easy.
So how can we disagree better?
Talking with people we disagree with is a start.
According to Brooks though, it isn’t enough.
What also keeps us from disagreeing better is what he labels “motive attribution asymmetry” which is…
the belief that our ideology is based in love and our opponents is based in hate. This not only leads to intolerance, but far worse. It leads to contempt. Contempt makes political compromise and progress impossible.
Listening to Owen’s most recent conversations with Russel Brand (everybody knows him – right?) and Hank Newsome (the chairman of New York chapter of Black Lives Matter) shows someone trying to disagree better.
While there is little agreement in the 3+ hours, there is almost no contempt.
Owens and Newsome cover
Police brutality and the blue wall
Food poison in the poor communities
Why we should have more African immigrants
Welfare being a crutch vs wheel chair
What Shaquille O’Neil thanks about financial literacy
The first step act
Newsome closes with:
“I’m not looking for America to deliver liberation. I’m looking for it to do it’s part. In an effective way.”
Brand opens with:
“A great conversation with someone I disagree with about 90% of what she says and isn’t that the point of public discourse.”
Brand and Owens plow through
the impediment of debate
spirituality and its place in politics
socialism vs capitalism
government bail outs and their role in capitalism
breaking up google
Looking at the components of humanity Brand quotes Solzhenitsyn
author of The Gulag Archipelago
“the line between good and evil runs not between nations, religions or creeds, but through every human heart”.
and ads his own take
“I know there is selfishness, greed…. and the lot in me, so I need to exist in communities that acknowledges that I am flawed and can fail but can encourage the better parts of my nature”
About and hour and a half in, they make an attempt to build a government (Brand’s “utopia”) that works – Making it about 2 minutes before they give up or get distracted.
Did those conversations solve anything?
But they are a start. And starting is hard. Starting is the hardest thing and more people need to start.
So, instead of attacking Owens, maybe Mr Leiu could learn from her and start trying to do his job by figuring out how to disagreeing better.
Congress has to disagree better if it is ever going to achieve something.
For politics to work, politicians have to be able to disagree better. If they don’t we will lose faith in the system.
Once we lose faith in that the only next step is not civil discourse – but civil war.