Leadership, Ethics, and Trust

Engaging the Extremes

Image from December 2021 GFR

Though people at the political extremes are, by definition, a small minority, there are some reasons why it is important to engage them. First, they are citizens within a democratic system, so they have the same right to be heard and understood as anyone else. Second, people on the extremes are often more vocal than those with moderate views, so public officials may find themselves in conversation with people on the extremes more often than the size of the extremes would suggest. Third, extreme views are probably less common among government officials, so most officials don’t have a firsthand understanding of these views. This article provides recommendations for appealing to the values of each extreme as a way for leaders to overcome political disagreements.