Civil Conversation #4: Shelly & Ray (Pt. 2)

Even when two people are in broad agreement, there are still a thousand shades of gray. This is where discussion really matters. And it's where cable news fails us.

Every two weeks, we’ll bring you a new episode of Civil Conversations.  Here, we sit down with Americans from across the political spectrum to demonstrate that once you’re in the same room – once you’re having a conversation – no subject is too hard to find common understanding.

Our moderator is Civil cofounder, George Nofli.  George has been talking to people across political, ethnic, and party lines his entire life.  He studied political science at Princeton, Oxford, and UCLA, originally planning to go into policy and politics.  But his passion for storytelling almost accidentally led him to his second career in Hollywood where his writing credits include the Bourne Ultimatum and Oceans 12.  He also wrote, directed, and produced The Adjustment Bureau and The Banker.  Civil Conversations is result of George’s two lifelong passions: truly understanding people and their stories, and telling these stories in thematic, compelling, respectful ways.


In our last episode, Shelley and Ray - both Democrats - had some disagreements about identity politics and vaccine mandates, but they agreed that the best way forward was further discussion over a beer. This week, we discussed transgender issues, abortion, and Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law - commonly called the Don’t Say Gay law. The takeaway from this discussion was: it’s complicated.

The fundamental question is as old as government. Who has rights? What happens when rights collide? Are we a society that turns our back on the vulnerable; such as unborn children and trans youth? Or are we a society that revokes from women control over their bodies and tells parents that the government knows what’s best for their kids?

This is of course intentionally provocative. The answer to all those questions is: its not that simple. And only party activists and media pundits believe it is. For the rest of us in the real world, we have to work and talk together in the shades of gray.

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Civil Conversations
Americans across the ideological spectrum meet to talk about politics and culture, without the screaming. New episodes twice per month.