Landscape Design to UX Design

When I was brainstorming what to write about for my first Medium post, I found myself hesitating to write about UX directly. I felt like I didn’t know enough about UX to speak on it. I imagine this…


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Generation Z Talks Past Tired Talking Points

Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch couldn’t talk themselves out of a tough spot during the CNN town hall meeting on guns. Their smooth talk and well-oiled messages could not compete with the students, survivors, and family members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

As such, they are better communicators than the establishment figures they are up against. They are prepared but not tied to a script. They have a point of view but are willing to listen. They are brutally honest in their opinions. And, they are not a homogenous bunch of white males. It is inspiring and powerful to see young women and men who look like America present their views.

The politician and the lobbyist couldn’t muster the courage to listen and honestly engage the people gathered in the arena. They showed up to reassure and placate larger, potentially more powerful constituencies. That strategy may eventually be their downfall.

Rubio ever the politician attempted to frame the dialogue about something he wanted to talk about. In this case, touting his courage to show up at the forum and do the job he was elected to do — talk to voters.

That irony was quickly denounced on social media.

A shooting survivor, Cameron Kasky scuffed the Senator’s veneer with direct questioning, “So Senator can you tell me you won’t be accepting a single penny from the NRA?” Rubio’s response, “people buy into my agenda” was a telling slip of tongue. Time will tell how it plays with suburban voters.

Loesch was mission ready and focused. She was there to tout the benefits of firearms to women for protection against potential rapists. And, to place blame on law enforcement for its inability to deal with a “monster.” Side stepping all questions about guns she placed the blame for the multiple mass murderers that have occurred in recent years on “crazy” people who should have been stopped. That’s a Trump talking point that shows zero support for addressing mental illness or protecting the public.

No doubt her tough persona played well with the gun rights contingent but the students have the strength of their convictions and the energy of youth. They are not afraid to tell Loesch they find the NRA “disgusting.” And being able to go to school without fear is not an outrageous ask.

Perhaps Rubio was moved by the students’ anguish and solution seeking. He seemed willing to reconsider his position on limiting the size of magazine clips: “Because while it may not prevent an attack it may save lives in an attack.” If his willingness to compromise is genuine it could lead to a breakthrough in the gridlock. But once the forum ended he backtracked.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel who appeared with Loesch on stage, provided important guidance when he said there is no sense trying to talk to NRA spokespeople. Evoking a line used by student Emma Gonzalez at a rally he responded to Loesch’s arguments by saying “we’re calling BS on that.”

Christine K. Jahnke is a speech coach and the author of The Well-Spoken Woman

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