Words Matter – How to Build Bridges

Finding common ground using the right words

Topic Liberal Words/Ideas Conservative Words/Ideas
Moral Values Equality & Fairness

Care & Protection

Loyalty & Patriotism

Respect for Authority

Purity & Security

Misc. Terms Pro tax

Taxes at work

Government services







Dues and fees


Task force


Deferred pay

Worker-earned health care


Family freedom

Pregnancy prevention

Environment We are causing real harm to the places we live in.

Need to take steps to prevent further destruction to our earth.

Keeping our forests, drinking water, and skies pure is of vital importance.

We should regard the pollution of the place we live in to be disgusting.

Reducing pollution can help us preserve what is pure and beautiful about the places we live.

  Anti-pollution Dirty energy industries make a lot of their money by not cleaning up. They profit by not paying the full costs of doing business and instead placing those costs on the public – you and me.
Healthcare Single payer system Everyone’s life depends on Medicare for all. Health is a life and death issue.
Public programs Funding for programs; needs of one group or another; express outrage over the trampling of our rights. American democracy is built on the ethic of citizens caring about other citizens. Its moral mission is to protect and empower everyone equally by the provision of public resources.
Corporations Anti Citizens United Privatization is the replacement of elected governments with unelected corporate governments, which run more and more aspects of American life for their own profit, not for the public good.

The Public and the Corporate need each other and need to be in balance.

  Free market Liberty from corporate government. Corporations meddling in our lives.
  Anti-privatization Government has a moral duty to protect and empower its people.
  Equal pay and full pay (health benefits) Workers are profit creators. Corporations have an ethical responsibility to pay in full for work done. That includes benefits and pensions.
Education Public education We all benefit from our educational system. We need others to be knowledgeable.


Recommended Reading: The Little Blue Book, The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic by George Lakoff

How to have better political conversations http://www.ted.com/talks/robb_willer_how_to_have_better_political_conversations?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tedspread


Reconciliation. https://play.podtrac.com/npr-510298/npr.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_510298/media/anon.nprmp3/npr/ted/2016/12/20161216_ted_tedpod.mp3?orgId=1&p=510298&story=505690708&t=podcast&e=505690708&ft=pod&f=510298.


Compiled by Suzanne Lavine




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