1 If the Truth Is on Your Side...
2 The Facts
3 Common Sense
4 Other Truth Narratives
5 Democratic Political Talk
6 Reconstructing Democracy
7 The Democratic Society and Its Enemies
Dotson shows that we are misguided to pine for a lost age of respect for expertise. For one thing, such an age never happened. For another, people cannot be made into ultra-rational Vulcans. Dotson offers a road map to guide both citizens and policy makers in rethinking and refashioning political interactions to be more productive. To avoid the trap of divisive and fanatical certitude, we must stop idealizing expert knowledge and romanticizing common sense. He outlines strategies for making political disputes more productive- admitting uncertainty, sharing experiences, and tolerating and negotiating disagreement. He suggests reforms to political practices and processes, adjustments to media systems, and dramatic changes to schooling, childhood, the workplace, and other institutions. Productive and intelligent politics is not a product of embracing truth, Dotson argues, but of adopting a pluralistic democratic process.
"A sharp portrait of our deeply fractured political system...An
important demonstration that to thrive-indeed, to survive-our
fissured democracy must be far more democratic...his arguments are
cogent, his optimism profound."
-Kirkus Reviews, KIRKUS STAR
"Lucid writing, illuminating examples, and a firm point of view make this a refreshing take on contemporary political dysfunctions."