View Full Version : US Politics

03-10-2013, 03:15 PM
Ok, so i'm pretty far to the left. Orion hears me talking about what I like and dont like, and he sees my posts on fb, and at least one of my very radical old freinds posts, which are way to the left of me and include a lot of republican-bashing.

sometimes Orion tries to talk about politics, but he talks in pretty black-and-white good-and-bad soundbites. Which kinda makes sense, but it isnt what I WANT.

So i'm trying to figure out how to give him a broader and deeper view of today's political landscape. I have no idea where to start. His comprehension is basically adult level (not college senior, maybe, but average adult level). any ideas - videos, movies, books, articles, curricula?


03-10-2013, 03:28 PM
When I taught politics years and years ago, I had high schoolers watch The War Room, but it's dated feeling now...

I feel like Stewart's interviews are actually really quick and insightful but general public friendly. Obviously from the left, but I usually feel like he's fair to both sides... at least in the interviews. He can get on a roll with Fox News bashing sometimes on the show that just goes on and on and... bah. Yes, we know. Stop beating a dead horse.

I'll ask dh... he'll know. In our house we defer to dh in all matters of politics as politics is his sport. Also baseball, but mostly politics.

03-10-2013, 04:08 PM
my hubby refuses to talk about politics at all, saying its all a game. i love Stewart, but thats not going to give a good, solid intro do the basic concepts and values of the parties, or a nuanced discussion of why there is such a split.

03-10-2013, 04:17 PM

When It comes to politics, my dd and I have a lot of great conversations, and I work really hard to have her look at BOTH SIDES because I firmly believe that you can't discuss your own opinion effectivaly (back it up, defend it, etc.) if you don't understand the other side as well.

We started using this approach when dd was still in public school and came home asking questions about the life politics her friends were discussing (or rather, spouting their parents opinions). One example...several girls (in 6th grade, mind you) were bashing the idea of abortions ("if my boyfriend got me pregnant I would NEVER get an abortion"), which bothered dd both because of the discussion it's self as well as the extreme one sided opinions. So we sat down and went over the WHY people feel this way, and WHY they feel that way. Then I threw several situations at her that made her question both sides.

In the next year or two I want to find a good book or program that teaches debate, but for now our conversations and looking at both sides approach works.

Another thing we do is watch lots of documentories. I will admit that most are fairly left leaning, but even so we discuss all sides. We love food movies (Food Inc.; Forks over Knives; The Botany of Desire), Michale Moore Movies, Religulous with Bill Maher, and such.

Good luck in your quest!

03-10-2013, 04:27 PM
Oh, as for studying the parties....we used a book about the US Presidents. It was interesting to see how the parties have completely changed over time.

03-10-2013, 04:28 PM
see, i'm not very good at debate, history, politics - none of it. i really need a source to start with . . . and i really want to educate him about what the parties stand for and why . . .

03-10-2013, 04:43 PM
I wonder if any of the courses under Political Science would help:

700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities | Open Culture (http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses)

03-10-2013, 04:45 PM
Or something from iCivics: Teachers | iCivics (http://www.icivics.org/teachers)

03-10-2013, 04:57 PM
we're still working slowly through US history . . most of the way through the civil war, and this is our second year!!

actually, i'm thinking of using Politics for Dummies with him next year, after looking around for a while

Cynthia Williford
03-15-2013, 01:21 AM
Have you taken a look at the Civics lectures at Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org?) Standard Deviants also has an American Government series that I think is pretty good. The civil liberties lectures sparked a lot of conversation in our house. My ds found the following lectures on justice to be incredibly engaging and thought provoking: Justice with Michael Sandel - Online Harvard Course Exploring Justice, Equality, Democracy, and Citizenship (http://www.justiceharvard.org/). They're a good springboard into discussing politics.