Step 2. Other Side Matrix

“ Listen to both sides and be enlightened. Hear one side and be deceived." 
 – Chinese proverb

Your Side

Other Side

Third Option

A good lawyer should be able to argue both sides of a case. A good citizen should have a comparable capacity. If you can’t make a strong case for the “other side,” do you really understand it? If you don’t understand it, are you really making an informed decision?

What separates the Democratic Party from the Republican party at the level of basic principles? At the level of facts? At the level of solutions? Is there a third view?

Again, take pen and paper or open up a computer file and try to make as strong as possible case for the Democratic and Republican views of the world marshalling principles, facts, and solutions. Then try to articulate a third path that somehow finds common ground. Or is this impossible?

Once you have made an overall case for the Progressive and Conservative views of the world, try your hand at the specific issues that matter most to you. For how many issues can you fill out an "Other Side Matrix"?

A level one citizen can make a strong case for her own side marshalling principles, facts, and solutions. A level two citizen can make an equally strong case for the other side. A level three citizen can find common ground in terms of principles, facts, and solutions.

The goal of The Thinking Citizen Guide is to get each of us to a deeper level of knowledge and understanding over a life time through a discipline of regular analytical introspection and idea exchange.

Analytical introspection however involves more than an articulation of rational arguments.
Another dimension is the understanding of our past influences, commitments, and decisions.