From Main Street Nashville: Former Govs. Bredesen, Haslam launch podcast to spark political discourse

Former Tennessee Governors Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam are launching a podcast aimed at bringing civility back to political discussions.

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By Vivian Jones

“You Might Be Right” is produced by the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee. Haslam and Bredesen talked about the project during an appearance together at the Nashville Rotary Club on Monday.

“It’s my hope that we can start having conversations that are about solving the problem rather than just winning the argument. Unfortunately, today in politics, it’s all about winning arguments,” Haslam said. “So we did this podcast to take hard situations, talk about them with different perspectives, different guests, and then maybe try to push towards something that would actually solve the problem.”

Each episode will break down a controversial topic like gun violence, climate change and the national debt with guests of differing political viewpoints. Featured guests include Paul Ryan, Al Gore, Erskine Bowles, Nancy Ann DeParle and Arne Duncan.

“I’ve always actively sought out opposing viewpoints because I’ve never seen a problem in business or politics that didn’t benefit from consideration of different points of view,” Bredesen said.

The name is inspired by a piece of advice from the late U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, who encouraged colleagues to never forget that “the other fellow might be right.”

The podcast is aimed at bringing Baker-style civility and public policy debate back into fashion.

“In politics, competition for ideas, competition for the right to serve, is fundamental. It’s political. But it must be accompanied by a decent respect for the other fellow’s point of view,” Baker said during a 2010 event with former President Jimmy Carter. “Because if you don’t do that, the whole system falls. It collapses if you don’t admit that the other person might be right from time to time.”