The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro hosted The Run-Up podcast to discuss Election 2016 in the weeks leading up to 9 November. Since the election, Barbaro continues to produce episodes that explore the aftermath. Just in time for the late-November holidays when numerous families reunite, the 18 November podcast outlined a script for facilitating potentially difficult conversations with family members who voted differently.
The likelihood of a person memorizing this script or carrying it with them while talking seems low. However, a key takeaway from reading through the nineteen questions is to focus on 1) the relationship between those speaking; 2) one’s feelings about policies and the status of the country; and 3) the impact of those feelings on the relationship between the speakers. The technique is a helpful reminder to stray away from behaving like surrogates for a candidate, but to instead have a conversation about the state of the country while keeping the sanctity of the relationship rooted.
The entire script is on the podcast website, and the podcast itself recorded conversations with pairs of Clinton and Trump voters.