Category Archives: Mtg Announcements

Monday’s Mtg: How bad are San Diego’s divides over race, ethnicity, class, region, etc.?

CivCon discusses San Diego 1-2 per year.  But usually look at its emerging problems or govt structures or elections.  In recent years we’ve done homelessness, transportation, affordable housing, and high utility rates.

Yet we never talk much about the people of San Diego.  Our city is not famous for its all-consuming, bitter divisions over race, ethnicity, religion, or geography like those that many American cities famously have: St. Louis, Newark, Baltimore, Milwaukee, L.A.  We like to think of ourselves as an open, high-tech, pacific rim crossroad, where innovation and inclusiveness go hand in hand.

Fine.  Yet, San Diego has its share of social and political tensions that both result from and reinforce economic and social inequalities between different population segments.  Paradise has plenty of residential segregation, regional economic disparities, and underserved neighborhoods in terms of infrastructure, educational opportunities, pollution, and criminal injustice.  These differences are no longer just confined to the “below versus above I-8” division of the old days.  As we’ve spread out our problems have, too.

Since disunity has been on everybody’s mind these days, how about spending an evening discussing the problems of social inequalities at home, here in San Diego?  Hopefully at minimum we can learn a bit about how San Diegans perceive the consequences of our divides concerning race, ethnicity, immigrant status, and social class.

Luckily, our resident expert on San Diego, John M., will be there to give a brief opening presentation.  We also have others in the group with experience in seeing the not-in-tourist-guides problems of our city.

Below are a few reading suggestions from me.  I will add any I get from John this weekend.

Oh, we have a NEW Zoom link for Monday.  It will be added tomorrow and emailed out on Sunday night in the usual way.  There will be no password needed this week.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

NEXT WEEK (Jan 25):  No mtg

Monday’s Mtg: Does CivCon have lessons to teach re restoring civility and national reconciliation?

Peter suggested this topic.  Gentleman that he is, Peter has said a number of times that he finds Civilized Conversation to be unique: A forum where people with diametrically opposed opinions can at least talk and listen to each other respectfully, and learn a little bit about each other’s POV and the moral values and humanity behind them.  Other group members have echoed similar sentiments occasionally. 

So, does Civilized Conversation have any lessons to teach about how to communicate with the “other side” or at least with people not fully on my/your side?  Have we stumbled on an approach that, if scaled up, could be used to begin the healing of America after the last four (or 20, IMO) years of division and growing fear and contempt and hatred?   What about other goals the group or its sneaky leader might have?  Are the means to achieve them applicable elsewhere?

CivCon has had plenty of practice debating emotional topics from difference POVs, that’s for sure.  The group has met once a week with rare exceptions since 2003!  That’s 17 years x 50/yr = 850 meetings.  Analyzing post tags shows about 100 meetings on political polarization, 85 on morality and politics, 70+ on political philosophy, 66 on religion, 45 on the Middle East, 40 on Liberalism, 30 on Donald Trump, and 10 on abortion!  I have been in charge since June 2010, for about 500 meetings.  Hundreds of people at least have participated in meetings, we have almost 1,000 Meet-up members, and the website has had close to 100,000 page views including thousands by outsiders doing their own research. 

That is impressive in its own way, I suppose.  But Peter is asking whether CivCon has broader value than just learning stuff and entertaining ourselves.  Have we broader lessons to teach others about how to bridge our national chasm and reform our shredded national dialogue? Without some mutual respect and a national conversation can democracy really long endure?  Maybe we have three questions to answer:

  1. CivCon:  Have we in Civilized Conversation learned something along these lines, about how to talk to people we disagree with in our own lives or how to inform more neutral people that are open to it?
  2. Others:  Is the “other side” still reachable anymore?  If not, is that second group, those regular people that lack a fixed ideology and heads full of (false) knowledge reachable using the methods/lessons we’ve learned in CivCon?
  3. How:  How could we do more?  Are any in-group lessons transferable to other groups we might belong to, or scalable so the people with the real organized power to reunite Americans might use them? 

Lots to discuss.  I will open the meeting by letting Peter explain his idea a bit further.  Then, I will (a) give a brief history of Civilized Conversation and explain what my own goals have always been for the group, and (b) describe how I view “success.”

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

Civility and its detractors –

Obstacles to persuasion or even tolerance.

How to persuade others, in general

Related old CivCon mtgs:

NEXT WEEK (Jan 11):  Can empathy and compassion be taught?

Monday’s Mtg: The psychological roots of political beliefs.

[Update: This meeting must and will deal with the now total abandonment of constitutional democracy by the Republican Party. The linking idea will be: Was all that has happened contingent on events, thuggish leadership, or propaganda effects; or does the abandonment reflect a passive vulnerability of conservatives’ psychological makeup or even an affirmative distrust or active dislike of democracy? An alternative and more benign explanation is that this betrayal of our country is being led by an authoritarian minority within the GOP and that authoritarianism is quite distinct from conservatism. I have always tended to believe the latter: Authentic conservatism has been betrayed, not fulfilled. But, with 77% of Republican voters nationwide believing the election was stolen and a majority of House GOP members joining Texas’s anti-democratic lawsuit to overturn a residential election, I’m….not so sure.

We will continue to conduct ourselves in civil way. But if we are not willing to discuss what is happening in our country, there is no point to this group – no matter what we call it.]

______________________

Long before the 2016 political earthquake hit the United States, people were searching for an answer to one, basic question:  How could American liberals and conservatives see what the country needs and wants so differently?  How could the worldviews of people that live in the same country and live so similarly be so different?  How is it that Right and Left are so mutually-loathing and even mutually-incomprehending?

There have been many, many proposed answers, obviously, as Civilized Conversation has discussed often.  Most theories batted around in the news media or blogosphere emphasize external factors, rather than inherent psychological characteristics.  Indoctrination is one, say by Fox News or left-wing college professors or cynical politicians posing as leaders.  Some people see a kind of group-think at work, imposed by biased news media, social media, or family and friends in a society increasingly sorted by class, race, and education. Sudden events like 9/11, or slower-moving events like demographic and cultural change may threaten conservatives.  Rising inequality and big corporate power may anger liberals.  Right-wing racism.  Left-wing anti-religious bias.  Blah, blah, blah.

The burgeoning field of political psychology offers a different set of answers.  They focus not on events and the impact of every day, external forces, but on alleged personal psychological characteristics that pre-dispose Americans to grow up to be liberal or conservative in basic orientation.  (How orientation gets turned into passionate, one-sided ideology is more about the external factors, in my view.)  Of course, actual people’s political opinions – if they even have well-formed ones – are more complicated than just left or right.  But from what I’ve read, so far most of the recent focus in political psychology has been on trying to explain why we may be predisposed to either right/left camps – and especially on what is attracting so many Americans to right-wing movement and candidates. 

As the articles below explain, much of this research is new and maybe a bit shaky or overreaching in its conclusions.  Still, the idea that psychological worldviews develop early in life and incline us to a certain political POV is intriguing. And it makes dialogue and persuasion, or even mutual tolerance all the more difficult. 

Focus on the recommended links since all dozen or so is a lot of reading. Also, as many of our earlier meeting touched on these themes I not only listed them; I pulled out a few key articles they referenced.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

Key old mtgs –

  • 2017 – Does the “paranoid style” of politics now dominate U.S. politics?
    • Key link:  Summary of paranoid style’s relation to Trump support.  Recommended.
  • 2020 – The power of cognitive bias.
    • Key link: Nine lessons from psychology that explain the Trump era.
  • 2019 – Freedom means different things to liberals and conservatives.
    • Key link: How they see liberty differently and how its changed.    
  • 2016 – Fear mongering as a political strategy.
    • Key link:  Obama’s election + 2008’s economic collapse gave many whites a sense a “racial inversion” of their place in society had occurred.
  • 2012 – Why do we vote the way we do?

NEXT WEEK (Dec 21):  Why has religion often been used to justify violence and murder?

Monday’s Mtg (12/7/20): Will Trump succeed sabotaging Biden’s presidency and Americans’ faith in our democracy?

Our topic this week is unavoidable.  It arises from the widespread fear that President Trump, out of pique, and his outgoing Administration, out of ideological conviction, are trying to destroy Americans’ faith in democracy and sabotage the incoming Biden Administration.

There can be no doubt that Trump is guilty of the first charge.  We’ve been watching him do it daily since election day – and even for months before!  Forget his refusal to admit or formally concede defeat.  He has repeatedly denounced the results as fraudulent and woven increasingly ridiculous conspiracy theories to explain how that could have happened.  Massive voter fraud by illegal immigrants or by shadowy figures turning in millions of fake ballots.  Collusion by thousands of poll workers and state election officials.  Rigged voting machines.  And anything else he can think of that might work regardless of consequences to the country of spreading such beliefs. All of this to convince his voters that an election with an outcome he and they didn’t like must have been fraudulent.    

Sure, he has lost his quixotic battle to flat out overturn the outcome.  In court he was 1 for 39 at one point, and then people stopped counting.  But, he continues to make unhinged claims that the election was stolen and Biden is an illegitimate president. 

And, incredibly, it is working. Spectacularly!!  About 70% to 85% of Republican voters now say they believe Biden did not legitimately win the election.  They believe Trump, not the evidence.  Nearly every, single high-level GOP official has either joined in or stayed silent and refused to defend the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.  Mission accomplished.  Unless, of course, you believe that a president deliberately undermining citizens’ faith in our democracy, the legitimacy of a free and fair election, and the peaceful transfer of power is not a monstrous betrayal of his oath of office and an assault on the rule of law and on the already frayed fabric that holds our society together. 

If there is evidence or an argument that the above is false, feel free to present it Monday at the mtg, and you will be heard respectfully.  But until then, I feel the only real questions for us on this part of our topic involve the “why.” Why did so many Trump votes believe all of this, why is the entire GOP leadership complicit, and (most importantly) how enduring will the damage prove to be?

However, the second part of our “sabotage” question – whether Trump’s lame duck changes to policy are sabotaging Biden or the country – is a bit trickier.  Trump is still the President, with the full powers of the office. Yes, he says nothing about the pandemic that has killed 300,000 Americans.  Behind the scenes, his Administration may or may not be doing a decent job of preparing for the immense challenge of vaccinating 320 million Americans (not sharing their plans with Biden’s people is a bad sign).   

Lame duck presidents typically mainly tread water and help with the transition unless events compel otherwise. But, there have been many exceptions.  Defeated presidents sometimes hurry to accomplish unfinished policy business they consider important to the country or/and their legacies.  Sometimes they deliberately box in their successor by making the policies hard to overturn (e.g., by passing a law or getting court rulings).

So, for this sub-topic, we have to know a few things, like:

  1. What important policies is the Trump Administration still trying to put in place? 
  2. Which can justly be called “sabotage” rather than “things Democrats oppose?”?
  3. How hard will it be to reverse these policies for the Biden Administration, the courts, or the (probably) still bitterly divided Congress?

Below are some articles that debate sabotage.  Mostly they deal with policy sabotage, but some are about how much faith in democracy Trump has destroyed.  My opening remarks will focus on policy changes and why some might be called sabotage.  I will mostly leave for our discussion the whole “let’s destroy Americans’ faith in their democracy that so many died protecting because my feelings are hurt” thing. 

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

Faith in Democracy –

Domestic policy sabotage?

Foreign policy sabotage?

  • Overall:  Light so many fires Biden can’t put them all out?   Recommended.
  • China:  Many acts to lock in hostile relationship.  If Biden reverses any of it, it’s “appeasement.”
  • Middle East/Iran:
    • [Update Sunday: Link alleging Trump spurring a Sunni-Shia war deleted because it was a low quality article]
    • To be fair, Trump helped negotiate peace agreements between Israel and several Persian Gulf nations.

Stopping any sabotage –

NEXT WEEK (Dec 14):  What are the moral and psychological foundations of political beliefs? 

Monday’s Mtg: Has the pandemic exposed large failings in U.S. politics and/or society?

It’s now pretty much settled wisdom that the novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed deep failures in the United States.  Catastrophic political failures, obviously, especially at the very top.  But, also failures on the part of regular people, like an unwillingness to imagine a catastrophe of this magnitude could “happen here,” to accept the results of science, and even to give a damn about millions of other Americans.

Which of these charges are really true, and which are not so clear cut?  More importantly, why do we have these political/economic/cultural weaknesses and how did they go unnoticed by so many people for so long?  Or, was just no one listening? 

Allocating blame for this massive, partially preventable disaster is not a gotcha game, dammit.  Assigning responsibility is the linchpin of democracy.  As I have quote a million other people saying the last few months, major catastrophes lay bare a society’s worst flaws and vulnerabilities.  Like Pearl Harbor did for military unreadiness, or 1960s urban riots exposed the pathology of concentrated urban poverty and racism, or 9/11 revealed counterintelligence failures. 

Losing 250,000+ Americans to find out that the United States is not ready for some of the major challenges of the 21st century is a hard lesson. The only upside is if we are willing to be honest about our country’s flaws and its festering problems and why they have not been addressed. Ideology and archaic cultural attitudes must not blind us to what must change.  (Nor, of course, should short-term panic force us to abandon what is best about our country.)

So, let’s discuss this delicate topic using evidence and reason.  Some liberal accusations about root causes are true; some may not be, and the same may hold for conservative POVs.  But, getting a vaccine is not the only thing that has to start soon if we are to prepare for a better America.  So does doing some deep and profound thinking about why were so vulnerable to this pandemic – much more so than most other nations.  Call this topic, if you will, American Exceptionalism: The Reckoning.

I will open on Monday as I typically do, by outlining the major criticisms of what led us to the problem to be discussed.  The background readings sum them up and give more details and competing POVs.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

NEXT WEEK (Dec. 7th):  Will Trump and his enablers succeed in sabotaging his successor and destroying faith in U.S. democracy? 

Monday’s Mtg (11/22/20): Do harmful stereotypes make U.S. regionalism dangerous?

In American politics today our most pressing concern revolves around a single question:  How did one of our two major political parties become so openly hostile to democratic processes and so casual about abusing democratic institutions when they do control them?  And, will the Republican Party come down to earth from this extremism or will the Democrats just join them? 

One cause of growing acrimony on both sides seems to be the return of an old problem: Bitter regional political divisions. The radicalism of today’s GOP is reminiscent of the passions ignited by regional political schisms of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Democratic Party, including its progressive wing, was implicated in the regional hostilities, too, especially in (duh) the Dixiecrat South. 

CivCon covered the sharp resurgence of region-based politics pretty well in a 2019 meeting.  The year since, including the reaction/non-reaction to the COVID pandemic and the results of the 2020 election further reinforced how deep those cleavages lie and how easily people’s lazy regional stereotypes can be manipulated.  Of course, a perverse countervailing force is also at work, as smoldering regional grievances continue to be nationalized by clever propagandists determined to divide us against one another for their own power and profit. 

(We discussed the “Southernization” of conservative politics in 2012’s the South’s role in U.S. politics.  Other related meetings include 2019’s What if the USA could have 4-5 major political parties and 2011’s the Red/Blue cultural divide.)

Below are some maps and descriptive material on regional cultural and political divides and opinion on whether they are contributing to our larger cleavage into two, mutually-loathing camps.  A few were linked to for older meetings; some are new.  After my short intro, maybe we could ask a few basic questions like:

  • What negative and harmful stereotypes do Americans have about regions of the country they don’t live in (and in many cases have never even visited)? 
  • Are their roots more the result of regional economic inequality, snobbery aimed downwards or upwards, racism/xenophobia, Media propaganda, or some other reasons? 
  • Do regional resentments really contribute much to our insane political divide, or is this all secondary to other problems/grievances, real or imagined?
  • Should reducing regional tensions be a priority, or are other things much more important? 

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

Regions –

Why regional disparities –

Stereotypes and electoral effects –

NEXT WEEK (Nov 30):  Has the pandemic exposed huge failings in U.S. economy, society, & politics?

Monday’s Mtg: Would more gender balance in leadership change the country a lot?

This is a very old and yet very new – and very important – topic. We have had several related discussions, but not this one.

2020: Progress on gender equality.
2016: Would a female president govern differently?
2018: Do the genders communicate differently?

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

The numbers –

Govt:  Do women lead differently?

Biden/Harris

Business –

NEXT WEEK (Nov. 23):  Do U.S. regions have harmful stereotypes about each other?

Monday’s Mtg: Election post-mortem

Trump is beaten, and by a healthy margin by the time all the votes are counted.   SCOTUS stealing it for him looks less and less likely.  But Biden had no coattails.  The Senate is undecided, but likely will stay Republican.  U.S. House Dems lose seats, but it won’t affect vote outcomes much there. 

In short, another close, bitterly divided election, like most elections of the last 20 years.  Trump is gone but his legacy lives and may yet flourish again. Our national govt – and our nation – have grown more bitterly divided than…since 1968?  Since 1860?  Beyond who won and lost and the reality and magnitude of that divide, what have we learned?  Anything we didn’t already know and/or could help us to reform a functioning national govt, if nothing else (like make progress addressing our many festering problems)? 

The navel-hazing has begun, so let’s gaze with them.  Join us next Monday on Zoom for a post-mortem on this mortem of an election.  Later in the week, Peter, Linda N., and DavidG will pick topics for Nov. – March.  Expect a lot of politics, but less of a tsunami than in recent weeks.  If you have any ideas, let me know.  It is your group, too, and this is the best way to influence its evolution – by suggesting topics.

DavidG will open our mtg on Monday with a short “tentative lessons learned” type intro, with an emphasis on what types of lessons might have been learned and when we might know more in the coming months.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

RESULTS –

  • Nationwide.  President, Senate, House.
  • A blue/red map of the USA that actually is accurate.  Your must-glance at graphic.
  • California.  President, props, state legislature.

TRUMP’S GOTTERDAMERDUNG –

Congress –

State lessons- 

Any good news?

NEXT WEEK (Nov. 16):  TBD by Friday 11/14, along with new 4-month topic list.

Monday’s Mtg: What happens if the election results remain in doubt?

Is it almost over?  We may know who will be the 46th President a day or two after Tuesday, as well as which party will control Congress. Most likely (by far) this would happen if the polls of Biden’s big lead prove accurate and enough of the votes in key swing states are counted quickly enough that Biden’s victory (and maybe Senate control) are so obvious that the Republican Party’s openly-admitted plan to steal the results (read the links if you doubt this) falls apart in the face of clear defeat. 

I’m dubious.  Voting ends in four days, but the aftermath probably will drag on for a while – along with this almost unbearable stress and fear for our democracy’s future. 

We discussed the formal process of determining who wins the presidency in Part I of this topic on October 18.  The news media “calling” the winner has no legal or constitutional weight.  No state publishes or certifies election results within 48 hours of an election.  In fact and as this list shows, all but 11 have statutory deadlines that allow more than two weeks after election day for counting and certifying results!  (But, alas, two swing states, VA and PA, require it by Nov 10th and 11th, respectively) 

Beyond legal deadlines, a link below describes how quickly we can expect each state actually to finish its vote count.  The killer is that several key swing states – like PA, MI, and WI – cannot by law begin counting a single ballot until the polls close next Tuesday, and Republicans have defeated all efforts to let them start earlier.  Worse, very few states have experience receiving mountains of mail-in votes like they will get this pandemic year, so they could be slow to count – especially with rooms full of partisan lawyers and campaign reps “helping” them.  Federal law makes December 8th the “safe harbor” day by which all 50 states are expected to have certified results transmitted to the Electoral College (I’ll explain safe harbor).  States then will have chosen the 538 people that will comprise our glorious Electoral College, which meets on Dec. 14th to vote on a presidential winner. That’s 41 days after next election day!

But wait!  It’s not over.  Congress must certify the EC’s results when it convenes on January 5th, 2021.  if the EC does not reach a result (we will talk about why it might not) then the Constitution requires the House to pick the president and the Senate the vice-president.  Each state’s entire House delegation gets a single vote (e.g., all 55 California House members have one vote, as does Wyoming’s one member).  Get 26 of these 50 votes and you’re the next president, sworn in on January 20.

And all of this assumes the Supreme Court does not swoop down at any time in the process to determine the outcome, as happened in 2000 when SCOTUS stopped Florida’s vote recount – on a flimsy rationale and using an unprecedented voting standard – to declare that George W. Bush had beaten Al Gore. 

This schedule, though, is merely the backdrop for the drama that could play out in the weeks or months ahead.  So, it’s just a small part of our topic for Monday.  Our real question is more: How will the campaigns and parties, the public, the news media, the courts, and other major actors really react if this thing drags on?  Would the GOP really try to steal this thing, even if the popular vote is not even close?  What role will the Media play?  Would the public acquiesce?  Could it be stopped?

Some things we know:

  • Suppression: The GOP has pulled out all the stops to prevent and suppress voting.  But it may be backfiring since absentee turnout is at record highs.  Still, we don’t yet know who these people really voted for.
  • Counting all of those mail in (and in-person) ballots will happen quickly in many states but will take a long time in key states.
  • Stealing:  Trump, et. al., have been very clear in public about their plans to use the courts/SCOTUS and or friendly state legislatures to steal the election.  They have or will (1) undermine confidence that mail-in votes are legitimate; (2) try to get SCOTUS to disqualify late arriving ones or even declare entire state elections to be of unknown validity; and/or (3) get GOP state legislatures to use this manufactured uncertainty as an excuse to name their own, pro-Trump slate of Electors, which the Constitution allows but no one has dared to try since a disputed 1876 election. 
  • Media:  The News Media know all of this and are being implored to be patient in calling the race.  Democrats are trying to inform the public, too.
  • Congress Control:  The Senate could be really close (50/50 maybe) so it could take a LONG time to find out which party controls it.  In 2008, lawsuits delayed seating Senator Al Franken for five months, although control was not at stake.  Dems should easily keep the House.

Some things we don’t know yet, like whether

  • State-level polls will prove to be accurate or biased systematically against one candidate, like when they underestimated Trump in a few key states in 2016.
  • Mail-in votes in large numbers (and disproportionately Democratic ones) will be disqualified, arrive too late, lost, destroyed, etc. 
  • Election day in-person voters will brave the long lines, health risk, and potential for violence or give up and go home.
  • Trump really will try this brazen power play and GOP leaders will really go along. Maybe he will just give up on the whole thing, mutter he was robbed, and go make some real money. 
  • Media really can resist declaring a winner for a week or more, and whether hack media like Fox News and talk radio will shift public opinion, like in 2000.
  • Foreign countries will hack polling places, counting, and/or deceive the U.S. public with propaganda and lies later on.
  • Protests/Violence will be sporadic and pathetic or widespread and organized – especially during the vote counting process.  Left-wing violence is possible, too.
  • Our reputation: Would an ugly, prolonged fight over the presidency weaken the public’s and the world’s trust in U.S. democracy?

The Democrats are not angels either, obviously.  Left wing violence is possible.  One could argue that Democrats are taking advantage of the pandemic to greatly expand absentee voting, a long-time goal.  But I know of no evidence they are trying to stop the other side from voting, would ask state legislatures to pick electors that would vote against their voters’ wishes, or refuse to accept a Trump win as legitimate if all of the lawfully-cast votes are counted. 

On Monday, I will open us up by describing these threats in more detail and maybe speculate a bit n what might happen.  Then, we can have at it, civilized-style.

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

Last-minute legal rulings could be decisive –

  • Oct 28:  SCOTUS issues flurry of last-minute rulings
  • Oct 27 rulings coming from:­
    • Pennsylvania:  SCOTUS tentatively just rejected GOP appeal to stop the counting early.  But the case poses a major threat to voting rights.  Recommended.
    • Minnesota:  Is a judicial theft of electors in the works?

Voting and Counting it –

Stealing it –

Media, Protestors, Violence, etc. –

NEXT WEEK (Nov 9th):  Election post-mortem. Nov – March will have fewer partisan political topics – unless worst case scenarios play out!

Monday’s Mtg: Love under lockdown – finding it, keeping it, thriving during it.

On March 20, 2020, California became the first state to go on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since then we have opened and closed back down a little, varying by county according to criteria the governor established.  But, basically, it’s now been seven months of lock downy fun for most of us. 

How’s your love life?  Maybe it depends a lot on how it was before.  But COVID claustrophobia seems to be straining a lot of relationships, at least according to the popular press and even some more serious science and social science experts and journals.  Advice for how to find new relationships, keep your existing one(s) thriving, and even how to best end a romance under these stressful conditions abound.  A lot of the advice is common sense stuff (“be flexible,” “schedule time alone without the kids”) and not exactly profound. 

Still, maybe there are some ways we haven’t thought of to keep love alive in a time of COVID.  Questions for us to discuss might revolve around how to:

  • Meet new people and start a new relationship;
  • Maintain our existing one(s), especially in situations that can be trying under normal conditions, like new relationships, long-distance ones, or (aye aye aye) those involving children living at home; and
  • Thrive; i.e., make lemonade by actually deepening one’s romantic relationship under lockdown.

Here are links to some nuggets of advice on this issue.  Think of love under lockdown as a break from the kinds of topics we will need to descend into as the election crawls across the finish line — and beyond.  Unfortunately, Monday’s mg cannot be totally politics-free because romance under lockdown assumes people are responsible enough to follow the basic rules that minimize the pandemic’s spread, and many Americans aren’t. Let’s get some wisdom of crowds going for this one.

By the way, this post marks the 1,000 post on this blog, which was created in September 2009. Our Meetup group just passed the 900-people mark. So, at least some relationships appear to be thriving in this mess!

OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READINGS –  

NEXT WEEK (June 2):  Topic TBD shortly.