David: [00:00:00] Welcome to Outrage Overload, a science podcast about outrage and lowering the temperature. This is episode
Our political discourse, both the kind that we see on TV and the kind that we experience [00:01:00] among each other, it did not used to be this bad and it does not have to be this way. Now, a little skepticism that is really healthy. But when people distrust politics, they come to distrust institutions. They lose faith in government.
They lose faith in our future. We can acknowledge this. But we don’t have to accept this. That’s the thing about politics. We think of politics in terms of this vote or this election. But it can be so much more than that. Politics can be a battle of ideas, not a battle of insults. It can be about solutions.
It can be about making a difference. It can be about always striving to do better. That’s what it can be, and that’s what it should be. This is the system our founders envisioned. It’s messy. It’s [00:02:00] complicated. It is infuriating at times. But it’s a beautiful thing, too.
That was then House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2016.
Fast forward to today, and you might find yourself wondering, what happened to that vision? We find ourselves drowning in a sea of outrage and animosity. We’re caught in a never ending cycle of anger and division. Even though many Americans express a desire for less political hostility and divisiveness, they are also pessimistic about its likelihood.
Fewer than 1 in 10 surveyed think political rancor between ordinary Americans will decrease in the next 10 years, compared to nearly half who think it will increase, according to recent USA Today polling. More than 40 percent of Americans believe civil war is at least somewhat likely in the next 10 years, according to a 2022 YouGov study.
My unscientific street outrage interview suggests that when people say they want to get together, what they really mean is they want it so long as everyone agrees with them. We seem to have lost sight of the value of quality [00:03:00] conflict, which the founders of our republic believed was necessary for a functioning democracy.
What if we could reintroduce that kind of patriotism, one that doesn’t involve blind allegiance to a party or ideology, but rather a commitment to engaging in healthy, dignified conversations? Imagine a world where political discourse isn’t about tearing each other down, but about building bridges of understanding.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about on this episode of podcast. I’m your host, David Beckmeyer. And our guest for this episode, It’s Tammy Piper, who has been at the forefront of this movement, pioneering a concept that encourages respectful dialogue, even in the midst of disagreements.
Tami Pyfer: About two and a half years ago, when I left the governor’s office, I started working with a national nonprofit called Unite.
And our goal was to ease the divisions in the country. toxic political divides. A lot of people are working on that, as you know, but as we started studying this issue, [00:04:00] we realized that our divisions are not caused by disagreements. They’re not caused because we’re different from each other. They’re caused by contempt, and it all boiled down to the contempt that we hold for people.
And in politics, as you know, the contempt can really be toxic. And so we started to develop a way to look at contempt and the antidote. To contempt, we believe is dignity. And we believe that you can’t solve a problem if you can’t name it and define it and measure it. And so we came up with the Dignity Index.
David: So stay tuned as we explore the power of Dignified conversation, the impact it can have on our society. And now each one of us can play a role in turning down the temperature of outrage. Listen to my insightful conversation with Tammy. Who’s leading the charge towards a more respectful and productive political
Welcome to the show, Tammy [00:05:00] Piper, and thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate
Tami Pyfer: it. Well, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
David: Yeah, so I, I saw, I’ve seen your, the Unite effort before and I think I even saw the Dignity Index thing a little bit, but then I saw more of it in a, in a article.
I think you’re getting a lot of attention from that. It
Tami Pyfer: was an article in Political Magazine by Amanda Ripley. Uh huh.
David: Yeah. So, um, if you don’t mind, I know you probably get asked this all the time, but can you just walk the audience quickly through kind of a quick overview of the Dignity Index? I know it’s a scale of one to eight.
And yeah, if you could just quickly give us that. Sure. That’d be great. Yeah. It’s
Tami Pyfer: a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a scale that we’ve devised. It goes from one to eight. And it measures the level of contempt or dignity in public speech, public language. The lower ends of the scale one through four are actually the contempt levels and five through eight are the dignity index.
So [00:06:00] one is like the lowest level that you can get. This is when violent words actually lead to violent actions. And we see this in a lot of the conflicts around the globe. Um, and so one is the base. Two is more of the violent words. Three is, you know, I think those people are evil. Four is I don’t trust them.
I think they’re incompetent. Uh, five is when you start to lose the contempt and say, you know, those people have a right to be here too. I’m, you know, I’m willing to listen. Six is, I actually really want to listen and I want to find out where we Might have areas of agreement, so I can work with you on those things.
We agree on 7 is I want to not just work with you on areas that we agree on. I find out where we disagree so I can understand you better. And so that we can problem solve together better. And then level 8, which is the top of the scale is is when you kind of lose the need to be right and that you can see yourself in.
Humanity, you can see yourself in in any [00:07:00] person in, um, and and find some commonality or have this willingness to work with anyone. We call the scale really a problem solving tool, because when we go into problem solving mode, these are the things that we look at. I like to look at it as a shorthand for when I react to maybe a negative news story or something that’s coming out in the legislature or the Congress and, and my judge my reaction, whether it’s an eye roll, which, as we kind of have learned is really attempt to assign.
I look at the scale and go, okay, well, tell me you’re overreacting. Why do you think that way? And then you, and then you. Train yourself to look at things differently. We can’t solve problems, political problems, by hating each other. And we can’t solve them if we have contempt for each other. So the scale is, is designed to help us see, just to have the language and the vocabulary to see the contempt in language that we are using, or that politicians or public figures are using, [00:08:00] and then replace that with the language of dignity.
That was a really long answer. No, that’s
David: great. That’s great. Yeah, that’s great. Thank you very much for that. Um, it seems like that. And like I say, when I, when I hear how real people look at it, what I get is this blindness to it, maybe for another way to say it. Like we don’t realize we’re doing it or we were in it or we’re, or we’re that way.
Like, uh, you know, sometimes in these Man on the street interviews I get, you know, in the same sentence, someone will say, I know this outrage is terrible. That’s because the left is so divisive. Or they’ll fall that up. Just, they’re so awful. The right it’s, they’re so awful. Yeah. In the same sentence, you know, and again, I don’t like push back a lot of these, these in interviews, but you get this kind of irony, you know, and that, and that’s just a small example, but you get this irony, like you don’t realize you’re right in the middle of it right now.
Thanks. And I’ll give you an example of this that happened related to the Dignity Index. and on a Facebook group, right? So there’s a, there’s a group on Facebook that sort of puts [00:09:00] out as premise that it’s about, you know, being civil, you know, talking about politics, but being civil now in practice doesn’t always work that way, but that’s at least what they, they sort of premise.
So I actually just. I posted a thing saying, here’s some people working on something that looks like it’s kind of got some, it looks interesting and has promise and things like that. And what do you folks think of it? Like, very much just neutral. Here’s a thing. It looks like it has promise. What do you think?
Well, I don’t know if you’re going to guess how that. political, how the comment thread went.
Tami Pyfer: I’ve seen similar threats, so I’m pretty sure I know how it went. Yeah. So
David: it was shocking to me, um, how rapidly you could see this irony and this sort of, uh, self delusion or this just not able to see when, you know, I mean, one of my favorite comments was one of the earliest ones that seems like a good idea and we really need less, uh, vitriol, blah, blah, blah.
Because the left, we’ll just say left or right pick one is so, you know, so divisive, that’s how they ended the [00:10:00] sentence. Right?
Tami Pyfer: I have had, I’ve experienced that very thing where people who have seen the project or read about it, friends and people that I don’t know, and they’re so earnest and they’ll email and say, Boy, we need this.
I’m so glad you’re doing this. This is great because they are ruining the country. Right. And, and actually that phrase, that phrase, and this is why we feel like the index is helpful because as, as our, our, um, co founder Tim Schreiber will say, we designed a tool to measure others. And what we found is that it’s a mirror that reflects Ourselves, and so that phrase, they’re ruining the country, you know, that that is, we, we, we’ve actually identified that as a real common phrase.
And when you want to see if you’re on the contempt of the dignity side, that phrase, they’re ruining the country. That’s like a 3 or a 2. you’re getting down to the bottom level of contempt. But, but, but when you are, I, you know, I would say maybe. Six months ago would have said that, [00:11:00] you know, it’s like, yeah, they are ruining the country.
I would not have really thought twice about it. Maybe a year ago, but but when I realized, and I see that that is actually language of contempt. I need to think about it differently. And people that that want to support our work as they start to go through the scale, they’ll say. Holy cow. I didn’t know I was part of the problem.
And we found this with the university students, undergraduate and graduate students who worked with us on our demonstration project. These are young people. They’re, you know, they were, they are active politically. They were across the spectrum politically on the left and the right in the middle. And, uh, we would, as they started to code speech, um, they started to report that.
You know, I don’t think I should be listening to this podcast. They treat people so badly. They’re making fun of you. They mock people. And they started to screen out media and social media that they were ingesting because they realized it was bad for them and that they were part of it. Of the problem, [00:12:00] so part of the power we think of this index is not just to look at the speech and, you know, judge who we may or may not support politically because of their speech, but to realize and then put that mirror back on ourselves and say, maybe I’m part of the problem.
What can I do differently?
David: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And I, I want to definitely, um, expand on that a little bit, but yeah, so, but in my personal example is certainly that too, because, uh, you know, months before deciding to even do this podcast, I sort of began, that’s how those man in the street interviews began is kind of research for the whole topic area.
And uh, it was super enlightening for me to do that exact thing where like, okay, I need to change how I think about this and really start realizing that there are people out there that think way differently than me and that I kind of need to. Appreciate that or find a way to hear that and listen to it and and be there for that conversation because otherwise you’re just going to fight because you can’t go anywhere.
So for me, it changed everything that get those conversations. And I realized in doing [00:13:00] that that we hardly ever go deep like that on hearing listening to someone else because usually they feel threatened. So only by going into that listen mode where I wasn’t confront wasn’t trying to confront them or change their views or talking into something.
I just listened. Only then were they, was anyone comfortable to having that conversation, right? So most of the time you don’t even hear these things because, you know, it’s a polite conversation. We don’t go there, right? And we don’t want to lose our friendship and things like that. So we don’t, we don’t go down that path.
So for me, even some of these interviews were just people I knew because that’s the best I could do. Uh, people that I had known for a long time, I never knew this, that deeply about their political views. Interesting. We didn’t talk about it, right? At least not to that level. I really heard these things and I go, okay.
So that’s, that’s, you know, something I, it’s funny that you can be a good friend that you’ve known for years and that I’d learn new things about them in these conversations. But yeah, for me. And so, yeah, so give us a little bit more detail. Like, like, you know, um, there’s the, uh, pledge. So I want to talk about that a little bit.
And that is that basically for an individual, let’s say, or even just, you have a small [00:14:00] website, is that sort of a, um, what do I say? Honor system kind of model where you’re just kind of doing it on the honor system. So, Yeah, go ahead. I wanted to sort of ask quickly if there’s some, um, sort of there’s some tools we can learn to better kind of rate ourselves or rate
Tami Pyfer: things.
Yeah. So the, the pledge is like it right now. I mean, it’s, it’s an honor system and it’s just a way to make that commitment to yourself. Um, that. And the pledges is really simple. Really. I mean, we’re talking about the fact that we believe that this is this is a new patriotism. This isn’t just, you know, let’s be nice to everybody because that’s not what we’re talking about.
It’s a new patriotism. And the pledge simply says, and it’s right there on our website. In fact, we ask you to take the pledge at the very beginning before you even go to the website. But, um, we did. We want to get you your mindset to where we’re asking you to go. And the pledge says that there’s no America without democracy, and there’s no democracy without healthy debate, which we don’t have a lot of right now, and [00:15:00] there’s no healthy debate without dignity.
Therefore, I pledge to do more to treat others with dignity and not with contempt. So it’s just really this little reminder and and you saying. I’m going to try not to be one of those people that are treating people with contempt that I hear on the radio that make me sick inside, you know, and so the pledge then leads people to hopefully think differently.
And then, as you explore the actual index, which. Is also on the website at dignity index dot U. S. and you start to walk through the steps right now. We just finished our pilot project and we did the midterm races in Utah and then we’re taking the learnings from from that demonstration project. And now we’re developing materials for organizations.
For what we’ve been asked for some elected officials, we’ve been asked for schools, higher education, public education, community nonprofit groups. We’re developing tools for them to use them as they [00:16:00] understand the index and say, you know, my corporate culture is probably around a 4 or a 5. I want to get out of the contempt, but I want to get higher than a 5.
So we’re developing those materials now, and those will be posted on our website. I’ve got a group of teachers, for example. That want to post some lesson plans on how you would implement this in an AP government class. I’ve got higher ed professors who want to make modules for gen ed courses so that students can walk through these modules and become aware of.
The language that they use, or that’s used in public debate that leads to, you know, the contemptuous end of the scale leads to violence, ultimately, and that and the language that can lead to dignity so that we can have better dialogue. You know, David, you raised a really a really important thing about when you listen to people when you truly listen 1 of the 1 of the.
Criticisms I’ll hear occasionally is that we’re the speech police and [00:17:00] the dignity index is like the worst thing to ever happen to our country. You’re going to shut us down. And, and you just, you want, you don’t want to, you want to, you want to be Hitler. You want to stop everything. It’s like, it’s, it’s actually the opposite.
When you talk with someone who maybe in the past has been afraid to give you their full opinion. It’s how, why is that? Because they’re afraid of how might react, right? They may be treated with contempt. We’re having a differing view. We believe that contempt shuts down speech. And that dignity opens up those channels so that when you David are listening to friends, or you’re listening to people that you don’t know, and you’re asking them to understand or to explain their position, you’re exhibiting this level of dignity that they may not be used to and dignity.
Opens up that dialogue. So contempt is what shuts down speech, the dignity index, you know, and looking at our own selves, that doesn’t shut down speech, contempt shuts down speech. We want to open up speech.
David: Right. And I, you know, and I [00:18:00] love that the new patriotism, uh, labeling of that. I mean, I think that’s so true because that’s what we don’t understand is this.
This is one thing we all can have, have in common, right? We all want to be Patriot Patriots. We can share that value, right? So. Part of dropping this, lowering this temperature is being better patriots because you can then have better progress and things like that. Right. We can have better dialogues to come to consensus and compromise and things like that.
Yeah. And what you were just talking about, that was another direction that that comment thread that I was talking about went in. The other one was this, you know, this is the, like you say, this sort of speech police or whatever. And, and I, and I had a couple, a couple of, you know, people would say, well. You know, how am I going to, how am I going to get my point across if you’re going to make
Tami Pyfer: me?
Okay. I love that one. Let me do. Here’s, we’ve talked about that. It’s like, I have to use contempt or I can’t win an argument or I can’t get my point across. And we’ve, we’ve asked people to think about it and say, when is the last time that you’ve won an argument with contempt? You’ve swayed [00:19:00] someone to your side.
I’m going to treat with contempt. And that person’s going to say, Oh, I see what you mean. I think I’m going to do what you asked. It doesn’t work that way. I mean, think about it in family situations, right? When, if you want an argument with your spouse or your kids and you’ve persuaded them to your point of view by mocking them, by accusing them of being evil, by treating them with contempt, it just doesn’t work.
It doesn’t work in our families. It doesn’t work in the workplace and it doesn’t work in our country. What persuades people To your side is to be able to have this dialogue to see yourself in them and and find those commonalities, the areas where you agree and you disagree and then have a dialogue that is is based on the dignity of.
Of everyone, the dignity of that human being.
David: Yeah, exactly. And I was, I was, uh, blown away by that, because I even pushed back on that. I said, so you’re saying you can’t, I would say, can’t you have a vigorous, can’t you explain your point vigorously without, you know, the [00:20:00] contempt and, and dehumanizing aspect of it?
And, and, you know, the, the answers weren’t particularly helpful there.
Tami Pyfer: People, people will sometimes say, well, you just want everyone to be nice and get along and agree and be the same. That is absolutely not. We sure be nice. I’m not saying don’t be nice, but but we want diversity of thought and action and speech.
I mean, if you if if everyone, let’s say we have a Congress full of people that are exactly like you and me, and we all think the same thing. We’ve all had the exact same life experience and we and it’s It’s it’s not only boring, but it’s not solving problems. You bring that diversity in a thought and opinion and vigorous debate, you know, spirited debate, and you can do that.
There are tools and skills that we need to do that. We’re trying to help build those skills, but you can do that and the more diverse voices and [00:21:00] perspectives you bring in, the better you can problem solve and address problems that, um, Thank you. That are being experienced by a very diverse population in the country.
David: Yeah. And back to your sort of new patriotism thing. I mean, it’s required for a democracy. I mean, it was all part of what we’re doing is to have big and to have useful debates, productive debates. And Um, and productive dialogue and you literally, and you can’t do that. I mean, all the science shows you can’t do that when you let all this morality, us versus them, you’re evil.
I’m good. Fall into it. Then that just goes away. You can’t really have a productive debate. And it’s gotten so bad that, you know, we’re obviously. Telling our, our politicians to behave this way, um, and they’re, and they’re doing it. So, you know, on the science side, the thing everybody raises, uh, you know, I get a lot of dooms, doomsayers kind of when I, cause I always try to finish pretty much every interview with, you know, what, what are some things that we might be able to do, or how can we make this better?
And many of the scientists don’t have a lot to offer. They’re, they’re, they’re, they’re pretty [00:22:00] helpless and they’re sort of saying, look, it’s just the way humans are. It’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s the way the business models are, the incentives work this way. And, and the, they say. Programs like yours don’t, are difficult to scale up.
So what’s, what have you, what have you learned about that? Like, do you see opportunity for it to scale up?
Tami Pyfer: We do, we do. And what we’re seeing, um, in fact, we’re seeing people that even have half hour, 15 minute, half hour, um, exposure to the index and they read through what those keywords are and the key phrases are, uh, we’re seeing people, um, who.
All like the light goes on and say, you know what? There is something I can do. And, um, I want, let me just share with you a comment that came after that political article ran. We got, you know, a ton of email and it was so rewarding. And some of the things that people were thinking and saying, you know, the more in common research group calls it the exhausted majority.
And I’ve been hearing from the exhausted majority who are [00:23:00] saying, okay, Okay. This is something I can wrap my mind around because we’ve provided this common language. But this, this woman posted this on one of the social media channels. She said, I just texted an organization whose position I support.
However, I felt that their communication vilified elected officials to raise funds. I recommended that they review the dignity index, evaluate their contemptuous marketing and align their messaging with their values and increased dignity. So this is after someone spent 15 minutes reading an article and she picked up and I’m getting a lot of these, by the way, where people say, you know what, there’s something I can do.
I like this organization. I support them. I’m not going to give them money anymore. And I’m going to ask them to change their tactics. And this is something, David, I know that you address quite a bit on your podcast are these incentives that are in place. It’s not just we can’t blame politicians because we vote them into office and we we help [00:24:00] nurture candidates that run for office.
And when we’re faced with, you know, a set of candidates, none of whom we think we can support part of that is because of this incentive structure that is out there that they are incentivized for contemptuous language. They’re incentivized for contemptuous language. Knocking people down for being, you know, just wildly inappropriate.
And until we can, I think we have to address it from the top down and the bottom up. And there are a couple million Americans. I know of the exhaustive majority that are really tired of this and their their strength in numbers. And this is where I feel like we can start to scale up a movement where people can see 1 thing that they could do differently, like in their own life.
But also. You know what? I’m going to contact this marketing company. I’m going to contact this politician, say, you just lost my vote because I’m going to apply the index. I’m looking for politicians that are on a five and above on the scale. If we would have large funders, people [00:25:00] that donate hundreds of millions of dollars to candidates, and if they simply would use the index and say, you know what?
We’re going to use this as a screen and we’re going to stop adding to the contempt in the country. And, and if you want money from my organization, then you better, I’m going to look at your speech. You better be above a five or above. So, I mean, there are things that we can do to scale this up. It’s, it’s not easy, but I think there’s a lot of appetite for it right now.
David: Yeah. I mean, I do love that exhausted majority. I like that. Um, you know, and I think, you know, you hear people saying it all the time that it’s kind of the, the, there’s a, there’s an extreme or loud minority out there that kind of drowns out everybody else. And so, you know, when you go into a group, even like the one that purports to be polite, you know, polite politics, you know, even in within that group, the loud voices kind of drowned out the rest.
Um, so it does feel like there is a, a, a. Uh, an exhausted majority out there, you know, and I, I think they’re a little bit hard to reach because they have been sort of self silenced a little bit. Like they’re [00:26:00] just like, I don’t want to deal with it because someone’s not going to like what I say because I’m not going to be sort of cheering loud enough, you know, against the other side.
Um, which they, they, they, they, they sort of become the way that you get noticed and all that. So yeah, I hope you’re right about that.
Tami Pyfer: They’re going to jump. I mean, a lot of people I’ve talked to say, I’m off social media. I don’t even do that anymore. And it’s like, oh, we need you back. We need those voices, those positive voices that are challenging contempt.
And I’m, I’m not advocating that, you know, people, everybody, you know, social media, but, but you’re seeing people self select, as you said. Out of certain situations so that we’re getting a skewed perspective of, of, you know, who the, what the contemptuous voices are and that, and their number compared to the exhausted majority and those of us that, that are not buying that anymore.
David: Yeah. So, um, the couple, a couple of last questions, if you’ve got a few more minutes. Sure. The, you know, I’ve, I’ve seen you speak about, uh, like it shouldn’t be about the person, it should be about [00:27:00] their speech, but at the same time, we’re also saying to maybe use this to inform our decisions about candidates.
So how do we kind of balance that? Yeah, and
Tami Pyfer: that’s a really good question. We, when we first started the demonstration project, it was like, I mean, the 1st impulse was to score, you know, this Senator, a 7 or the Senator, a 3, and then we immediately realized that if we’re going to assign. A score and say that you know that David Beckemeyer is a three I’m labeling you, which defeats the whole idea of extending dignity to you, right?
Because on any given day on any given issue, you and I could be on the lower end of the scale. We can be on the higher end of the scale. So so the words we choose, we can change that every day. So we. Made it a point to to to make sure that people understood we’re scoring the language that people use. Um, you can give the same opinion.
You can talk about the same policy view that you have and do it with [00:28:00] dignity. Or contempt. So scoring the speech is a better way to get at that and not score people. Um, and it’s hard to do, but if we do this incentive system, right? And and you start to score speech and you, you look up someone’s score and it’s like, wow, you know, their speech here and here and here.
They sure rack up a lot of threes. And you can still and you can attribute that still to a person, but that gives you a place to start that conversation. Dear Senator. So, and so I watch, I watched your performance, uh, you know, on whatever issue I saw your interview on Fox or on MSNBC. And as I was going through the dignity index, you never got above a 2 or 3.
I don’t like that. That’s not representative of me. You’re going to lose my vote if things don’t change. So I’m going to, I’m not going to label you, but I am still going to connect that language to, you know, to the people hoping that we can have a better conversation and they can choose a better way to talk about their policy priorities.[00:29:00]
David: Yeah. And I’m glad you also mentioned the person talking about the campaigns and the campaign email and the cause that she was supportive of except when they try to go that far down on the dignity scale, dignity index scale. And, uh, yeah, cause there’s some of the worst. I mean, these campaigns, I think that’s, that was one of the, one of the big motivations for me to even start this podcast.
Tami Pyfer: you know, it’s out of a lot of times it’s the out of state money that comes in. There you don’t know who they are. You just know the name of a pack or super pack. So those were like, the lowest on the scale. And then the campaign fundraisers, those, they come from the candidate, but but they are designed to do 1 thing make.
Well, I’m going to say a couple of things make you angry. Make you afraid and get your money and I can’t get your money by being nice or telling you that things are going well or here’s my priorities. I have to be, I have to be negative and contemptuous because that that has been proven. To work we want to we want to change that so that that tactic [00:30:00] doesn’t work anymore.
I literally got an email. Uh, last Monday that it was almost straight off of a level 2 dignity index. It was like, it said, those people are ruining the country and it’s like, oh, no, you just lost me. And I wish hundreds of thousands. Of, you know, Utahns or Nebraskans or Montanans. I wish they would in, in full force would look at that and say, you just lost me.
You better find another way to communicate with me.
David: Yeah. So speaking of that, so you, you did this pilot in Utah. So are you still, do you kind of have a summary of the results now, or are you still kind of building that? Yeah. What did we learn? Yeah. Move the needle at all.
Tami Pyfer: Uh, well, it moved the needle in ways that we had not anticipated.
We, we did not, we did not have super high expectations that politicians would all of a sudden, you know, change their rhetoric. Um, but we found that there was, um, there was a shift in the number of people that [00:31:00] identified with. We did some pre surveys and some post surveys and that identified with the language of dignity that that resonated with them.
Uh, the percentage of people that had heard about the dignity index or heard about using dignity as a strategy, um, the percentage improved to the degree that it represented about 100, 000 new voters that would have. To have new support or some support for a dignity approach. That was very positive. But the big, the big takeaway, the big takeaway was that the media was really hungry for this and that people applied this to themselves.
That nobody called me or could showed up after I spoke at an event and say, Hey, can I’m so excited. Can you teach me how to code speech? They showed up and said, I need my company needs this. I want to teach this in my classroom. Can you help me do a university class on this? They wanted to apply this to themselves and their families and their organizations.
That was the huge takeaway, which is really, really, [00:32:00] um, I think it’s incredible. And it’s, it’s, it’s a very positive finding for us. It’s very encouraging. And we, we are looking at ways now taking to take this nationally. Uh, we are developing, as I said, some materials. We are trying to build a large social media audience so that we can direct them to materials that they can use.
In these different organizations, uh, one example we’ve been asked by the Utah League of Cities and towns to partner with them. They represent all of the local elected officials, and there are strategies for how you conduct a public hearing, how you communicate with patrons, how you can respond to angry email, how to make sure that the communication coming out from your mayor’s office is addressing the, these levels of dignity that you’re not inadvertently treating some people as other right.
And and so we are partnering formally then with with this state organization of elected officials. Um, and if if the pilot, if that partnership goes well, they would like to take that to the national [00:33:00] level that there’s a national league of cities and towns. And so a lot of these things we feel like, you’re going to kind of trickle up.
Um, in a way, but then we have this large social media present and kind of a big goal that we have, um, is that we want the, we want to put dignity on the ballot in 2024 and by that, we want to raise the national awareness of the language of contempt and the language of dignity. And we want to help find and elevate the language of candidates that are speaking with dignity.
And we want people to notice that we want to. Uh, to have constituents be able to incentivize the language of dignity. So in essence, we want to put dignity on the ballot in the presidential race in 2024 and all the the down ticket races as well.
David: That’s awesome. Yeah, and I I know everyone talks about the incentives and maybe it’s not likely but I mean, I wonder if there’s any chance some of the social media sites would start to implement that kind of thing and
Tami Pyfer: My [00:34:00] fingers are crossed.
You never, I mean, you never know. People really are tired of this. People are exhausted. They are starving for a better way. And it’s, it’s hurting our families. It’s, I think it’s part of contributing to the mental health crisis and None of our country’s problems, I shouldn’t say none, but our country’s problems are not being resolved in a way that I know we have the brainpower to do because we can’t communicate with each other and get across these divides.
David: Yeah, for sure. Well, I love it. I really think it’s great. I love some of this language. I definitely want to try to stay up to date on this. And so, um, I mean, I don’t know if there’s a mailing list people can
Tami Pyfer: subscribe to, but yeah, please do go to the website, dignity index. us or dot us. And if you take the pledge, your name will go on to mailing list.
But if you aren’t comfortable yet, taking the pledge will eventually get you. But if you’re not comfortable yet, just scroll down to the bottom of the main page and you can sign up for updates. We do not send out. You know, a [00:35:00] large number of emails. It’s maybe once or twice a month. We’ll send an update and we’ll talk about what’s happening in the field.
And then I really want um, people to email us and say, Hey, have you thought about this? I had this idea. I tried this and it worked. We want to develop really a community and the best way to do that we feel like is through this mailing list that we have so that we can start to grow this interactive community because that’s what’s going to build the movement.
David: that’s great again. I really love it. I think it’s I think it’s a great project and I wish you well with it And thank you so much for coming on the show Tammy.
Tami Pyfer: Thanks David. Thanks for all you’re doing. Thank you. Take care Okay, we’ll see you. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye
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