On Moderating a Political Discussion

On Moderating a Political Discussion

One of the great joys of being a publisher is that I’m able to meet and work with some very intelligent and interesting people. As the election comes up, I find that my company, Energion Publications, has two authors who have written books for our new politics category, one a progressive and one a conservative. What does this suggest? Let’s have an election related discussion!

Of course I have commercial goals for this discussion, so let’s get those out of the way. I’d love to sell books by these two men. You can find out more about that on Energion.net. In addition, as these are the only two books in the politics category, I’m anxious to discover new authors who will write new books to fulfill the mission of this category. Note that while the current two books focus on American issues, that is not a requirement for this category.

Having gotten that out of the way, let me get back to the fun. This is my personal post on how I’ll moderate this particular discussion. The two authors are progressive Bob Cornwall, who is a Disciples of Christ pastor and the author of Faith in the Public Square, and Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., an engineer, Christian apologist, and author of Preserving Democracy. Elgin blogs at bobcornwall.com and Elgin blogs at hushbeck.com/blog.

I’m excited about this discussion because I know that both of these men are committed Christians who are passionate about their political positions, but are also willing to discuss them in a civil manner. I edited both of their political books (as well as several others for each), and I know that they will hold many contrasting positions. It’s rare that we get to see civil discussions of widely differing points of view.

My role will be to propose questions. Each Saturday I will propose a question to both men. The question will be posted on Energion.net. They will post their answers on the following Wednesday and then each will respond to the post written by the other. I will post links to their responses over on Energion.net. I certainly have enough questions to ask them, but I’d really love to hear from any readers. Either comment or email me with things you would like to see discussed.

Is anyone welcome to get involved? Are you kidding? This is the blogosphere! Not only are comments permitted on either Elgin’s or Bob’s blogs, they are also permitted on Energion.net. There are reasonable rules for civil behavior in all these locations. In addition, however, we would welcome more bloggers to post on the questions raised, and provided the posts remain reasonably civil, I will link to those as well, also from Energion.net. So get ready to get involved.

My plan is to stick primarily with issues and policy. There is plenty of discussion going on about ads and the process. These are valid points to discuss. I’ve certainly seen plenty of ads that I think could bear serious examination and critique. But that takes time, so we’ll generally avoid it, and concentrate on specific policy issues.

So send me your questions and I’ll pick one for each week. Then get involved in the resulting discussion.

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