At the beginning of 2018, a friend of mine Beth Ellis (not to be confused with Beth Silvers) introduced me to the podcast, “Pantsuit Politics.” The hosts Beth Silvers and Sarah Holland Stewart seemed too relatable. Especially since Sarah grew up in Paducah, KY, which is not too far from me. Since then on every Tuesday or Friday, I wake up and get ready for work while listening to Sarah from the Left and Beth from the Right. When I had the chance to be apart of the book launch club, I said yes. So on February 5, “I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations” will be released.
When in high school, I was shocked to get a copy of “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy. I was taken back by it. Later, I learned historical encounters where politicians lost their careers by speaking up on other sides of the aisle. As I look back on my experience with that book, I feel as though more political stories need to be told that way.
Well, Pantsuit Politics is the closest thing we have to “Profiles in Courage” from an unbiased and historical standpoint, but only in a podcast form. However, this book is a manual as to how to practice thought-based politics and stories of Sarah and Beth’s experiences.
My reaction to “Profiles in Courage,” definitely falls into the category or lesson of chapter 2 of learning to take off my jersey. That chapter is the introduction of how to see across the other aisle. In that chapter, they go over the history of the welfare system, which was very insightful.
In the beginning, I really wanted to pick up a book on Abigail Adams. Beth mentions how Abigail was for open toward speaking about political discussion. Many times we have been told to shut up about political discussion, but we are still not opposed for arguments.
Both of the women are Christians so I really admired how they used scripture throughout the book. This was really helpful in the chapter “Embrace the Paradox,” which I will explain more at the bottom. The best part that states their political harmony was toward the end.
“We’ve decided to stop calling American ‘divided.’ Buying into this conflict-driven narrative is a choice and it’s a choice we’re not going to make. We don’t feel divided from each other or the people in our lives in any way.”
First, I guess this is a sign that we should love the sweet lady at church the same as before you heard her horrible stance on Trump’s wall. That fact should not divide you from the love she showed you all your life from dance recitals to showing her pictures from prom. However, some time that conversation goes the other way.
Now the first sign I knew I loved these girls is when they talked about gun-safety after the Majorie Stone Douglas shooting. Obviously, these kids will never view Valentine’s Day the same. However, Sarah from the left stated, “don’t think for a moment that these parents who have guns love their babies as less as you.”
When I first read the book, I really love how that mentioned that is often practiced not to discuss politics. To me, this had lead to increased arguments across the board politically. This is a book that is needed right now. Even though we are in disagreement, we need to extend an olive branch.
At the end of each chapter, these women had steps as to how to enable political discussion. Most of the topics were in regards to healthcare and their experiences as moms.
Yet, the biggest take away from these women is that you can support both parties like be pro-guns and pro-gun safety. This is evident in the chapter “Embrace the Paradox” where we are told to just support the one side or you will cause it to lose. They certainly embrace that your political party does not have to be one-sided and you can disagree with an issue. On “Pantsuit Politics,” the women have vocalized their frustration for the straight ticket voting option.
I would highly recommend pre-ordering the book on Amazon or your preferred retailer so we can put their actions into practice. This might be a great book to send your public officials that don’t listen to the other side. Now until February 5th, just listen to a few episodes. I’m for sure you will admire Joybird Furniture, which is one of the sponsors for the podcast.
***Thanks Thomas Nelson for the advanced digital copy. It brings me joy to review something. In college, I wrote album reviews. So it’s good to write about something in a timely manner. Also, the name of my blog does not reflect that I do book reviews. I just related to Richard Gere in “Runaway Bride” when he said, “Journalism, is literature in a hurry.” Needless to say, that’s where I got my blog’s name.