On September 16th, citizens gathered at DePaul Cristo Rey High School to hear Vice-Mayor and former Democratic Congressman David Mann, and Former Hamilton County Republican Party Chair and Chamber of Commerce leader, George Vincent, explain the other side’s perspective on issues related to Income Disparity. As with all our Back-to-Backs, the rule was they had to keep explaining until the other guy said “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
George joked before the program that arguing against income inequality was the easier side of the argument, and his performance playing the role of a liberal was nothing less than exuberant. All acknowledged that David’s task was tougher since income extremes are undeniable and disparity has become a hot topic.
There was a painful moment or two when audience members expressed frustration with David’s feigned blame-the-victim remarks. We regret not making it more clear that presenters are reversing roles and will explain this dynamic better at future events.
Both presenters accepted an invitation to meet again to explore what they might have learned or understand differently as a result of their preparation and presentations, and whether any more agreement might be found on some of common themes in their presentations.
The bottom line is that these leaders were willing to bring awareness of the issue to the public in this unique manner, demonstrating the importance and challenges of looking at an issue through the eyes of someone whose views you perceive as very different. This was a generous act of public service for which we are grateful.