It's time to make reason – not fear, cynicism, or rage – the loudest voice in our democracy.

After the Marches, Keep on Walking the Walk to Defend Democracy

The marches across America yesterday were an inspiring demonstration of hope blooming in the face of adversity.

It was also a shining example of what’s best about social media – organizing online to take offline action, in the real world where it counts. As a result, the world witnessed a powerful and peaceful uprising of citizens determined to defend democracy.

The marches stand in stark contrast to the last two years of scorched-earth keyboard warfare and the self-segregation into ideological bubbles where fake news stories and conspiracy theories ran wild and were accepted as fact, strongly contributing to a post-truth demagogue’s ability to win despite his total unacceptability as a candidate and repulsiveness as a human being.

President Obama sees this phenomenon as a direct threat to our democracy.

“The media is so splintered now,” Obama said in 2015, “that we’re not in a common conversation. The fact is that if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read the New York Times.”

We can draw inspiration from these actions (as well as our secret and public Facebook chats), but while we’re resisting the real and present danger to our democracy we should also resist the temptation to retreat into the self-defeating comfort of ideological echo chambers.

We can lead by example by not scrolling past misinformation when it’s shared in our feed (sign-up for updates from Snopes and Factcheck.org so you’re armed with reality-based information to counter propaganda and context-free memes). And most importantly, we can speak up whenever we hear people saying something harmful, hateful, or flat-out factually wrong so that racists, misogynists and bullies aren’t given free-reign to be the loudest voice in the room.

That’s what our work at the HearYourselfThink Project is all about.

We’d love to share our tools and strategies for having conversations that create insights, not political food fights, and give you a chance to practice before jumping into action. Contact us at 412-370-5247 or connect@hearyourselfthink.org to schedule a house party or larger-group training.

Let’s seize this moment as an opportunity to show that we’re still the country that we carry in our hearts.

As President Obama said,

“If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one in real life.  If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing…  Show up. Dive in. Persevere.

A HearYourselfThink Year-in-Review

Erin and I quit our safe, steady-paying organizer gigs over a year ago to found HearYourselfThink because we realized then that the relentless flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and raw irrationality gushing from talk radio, hyper-partisan media outlets, and internet echo chambers was destroying our democracy and driving our nation to the brink of disaster. As it turns… Continue Reading

Accept “Post-Truth” Politics or #MakeAmericaTHINKAgain: What Will You Do?

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Fox News Commentator Pinned Down for Street Interview

Fox “News” in our backyard again! Yesterday, we caught up with Stephen Moore, a frequent Fox contributor, outside the hotel in Pittsburgh where he was attending a conference with a stealth lobbying organization (ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council) that promotes pro-corporate legislation on the state level. We wanted to hear what he had… Continue Reading

HearYourselfThink in Action: Puncturing “the Fox Bubble” at Hannity/Trump Event in Pittsburgh

Fox “News” was in Pittsburgh a few weeks back with a Donald Trump event hosted by Sean Hannity. We were on the inside to witness Hannity orchestrate what was billed as a “town hall” but what was really a pro-Trump rally. Raucous attendees were encouraged to scream and cheer and chants of “Build the Wall”… Continue Reading

The HearYourselfThink Project is a 501c3 non-profit fighting against the harmful effects that fake news, propaganda and misinformation have on our democracy. We're working to make reason, not rage, the loudest voice in the room.

Our trainings teach citizens how to have conversations that break down walls of polarization and distrust, get people thinking critically about context and media influence, and rebuild the civic connections that are necessary for democracy to flourish.

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The HearYourselfThink Project

P.O. Box 116, Ambridge, PA 15003

connect@hearyourselfthink.org