Open Phones: A Search for Common Ground

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We pair callers from left and right and search for common ground rather than a debate. Two callers who disagree with each other -- one very conservative and one solidly liberal -- get matched on air. The only request is that you not debate, but instead be curious about the other person.

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Comments [26]

LIbertarian/conservative isn't a thing, lose that descriptor stat.

Dec. 18 2013 08:57 PM
Steve from NYC

To all you Liberal Idiots out there. The Government that governs best governs least. There is a reason this saying has stood the test of time.

Dec. 18 2013 03:35 PM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham, NY

Brian, please! Try to avoid this kind of self-centered confrontation, in the future. The two participants seemed to belong more to one of the many low-grade radio & TV programs aiming at creating dissent, than to your program. Debate can be good, small-minded bickering doesn't help anyone.

Dec. 18 2013 11:42 AM

@Wei from Manhattan

"The trade problem with china actually began in the 90s when Clinton allowed them entrance into the WTO (despite labor issues) and gave them favored status which they still enjoy."

MFN for China was denuded of environmental and worker protection by the GOP. Same deal for NAFTA. A big plus for corporations and poke in the eye of union workers and American manufacturing.

Perhaps this segment would have worked better if the topic were announced in advance. I am curious on where is the common ground on lots of issues. Abortion rights. Universal background checks before buying a gun. Exploitation of/Amnesty for illegal immigrants. Deficits/stimulus spending.

Dec. 18 2013 11:41 AM
korgy from brooklyn



Dec. 18 2013 11:32 AM
Guy from NYC

Nothing I'm hearing disabuses me of my position that libertarians are fundamentally selfish subset of the politically naive. They are naive because they don't take the time to understand what a government is, what it does or what they would do without it. Selfish because they really believe the grudges they nurture should be the basis for public policy. For example, they "severely care for the environment" but don't understand why federal regulations are necessary when you can just order pollution to stay within the confines of state lines.

Meanwhile, this "progressive" has no working knowledge of history and thinks of politics are a platform for airing her personal grievances. "Nixon was trying to stop a war with China." What this segment has shown that there is no baseline knowledge or critical thinking skills for confidently making public comments on politics. And no exemplars for citizens to follow in the public space; media authorities absentmindedly encourage people to blame the government for every imaginable problem, but if these people don't understand the first thing about government or American history, we get a meaningless waste of airtime like this.

I think today's show has demonstrated...

Dec. 18 2013 11:32 AM
Robert from NYC

Well that sucked! And stop trying to convert people to centrism, Brian, it's mediocre at best. Have and take a stand if you believe in it folks, and be cautious how and about what you compromise if you do.

Dec. 18 2013 11:31 AM

Milk is good for least the calcium in milk is required for strong bones, muscles and neural activity. The growth hormones and anti-biotics in many milk products...not so much.

Dec. 18 2013 11:31 AM

Good. Let them both leave NYC. These people are the kind of people who should be kicked out.

Dec. 18 2013 11:30 AM
Wei from Manhattan

The trade problem with china actually began in the 90s when Clinton allowed them entrance into the WTO (despite labor issues) and gave them favored status which they still enjoy. I wish that had not happened as we are still hurting today.

Dec. 18 2013 11:28 AM

How is this woman progressive? Please change the participants!

Dec. 18 2013 11:27 AM
Nelson from Manhattan

Vaccination will kill children .... and

this guy is upset because they are selling plantains because they are not grown in New Jersey?

All this proves is how idiotic most people are ... cheeez I think these two do more damage than good with this segment

these two are clueless and to untangle the confused half truths of what they think they know ( move to PA because Nixon normalized relations with China OMG turn it off

Dec. 18 2013 11:27 AM


The government cannot fix everything and should not be expected to. There are some things that ONLY the government can fix effectively. From my perspective, conservatives and libertarians want a government that is too small to fix anything (but with all the costs!).

Dec. 18 2013 11:27 AM
El from NYC

Brian handled that vaccine thing really well, I'm so glad he cut that speech short.

Dec. 18 2013 11:25 AM

also, the guy is mostly just a libertarian -- not really conservative. i agree this round is a misfire.

Dec. 18 2013 11:25 AM
john from office

This is why I hate these segments, average person is an idiot. Vaccinations have saved millions of lives.

Dec. 18 2013 11:25 AM

Yeah, "…back to Revolutionary times…"

Great, another idiot.

Dec. 18 2013 11:24 AM
Edward from NJ

Anti-vaccine vs. fathers' rights? Ughh.

Dec. 18 2013 11:23 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Conservative Daniel: So if no vaccines are required and you and your children get all the diseases that they are meant to prevent and you are sick all the time and have no health insurance, then what? Government has to stick its nose in for the sake of the majority.

Family Court does not represent government as a whole. Family Court, as well as other courts, are run by individual judges and their decisions, as irrational as they sometimes may be.

Dec. 18 2013 11:23 AM

this woman is not a progressive, she is just confused. she also apparently knows nothing about Bloomberg. sorry about her child though

Dec. 18 2013 11:23 AM
Sonali from Brooklyn NY

Why is this Nora woman being presented as progressive? Anti-vaxxers are REgressive.

Dec. 18 2013 11:22 AM

Vaccine poisoning? Vaccines are safe stop this nonsense.

Dec. 18 2013 11:22 AM
RichardGrayson from Arizona for the winter

Get rid of these people, they are useless, especially the woman "progressive."

Dec. 18 2013 11:22 AM

Round 1 seems a misfire. Nora is progressive but is disaffected with the vaccination schedule.

Dec. 18 2013 11:21 AM
Guy from NYC

Hiring good screeners--How can we do better?

Dec. 18 2013 11:21 AM

Gutsy move. I hope nobody gets paired with Martin. (Yes. I called the line is already full.)

Dec. 18 2013 11:17 AM

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