I work with a group called Bridge the Divide to try to encourage dialogue across the political divides. I posted this for them and dedicate it to their efforts:
OK here is a real shot at bridging the divide. Excuse me if I fail.
The political landscape sometimes reminds me of a building business I once worked in for my cousin. The carpenters said only carpenters matter, the plumbers only plumbers matter, the electricians and so on. I actually think we need conservatives, libertarians and liberals for a healthy society, but we need some division of labor and mutual cooperation, compromise, and acceptance of what we can bring to the party.
For instance, and this is illustrative and my own personal take far from the last word: I would hope libertarians can keep up the good work ensuring the state is not too into surveillance and unnecessary interference, though I would hope they can extent their reach to big corporations doing this too. I hope they can invent good nudges to solve problems with less government needed. I would hope the nerdier libertarians will fight for science and the use of science in solving our problems.
I would hope conservatives can help us build stronger longer lasting families for the sake of our children and ourselves, without dissing gays or anyone else, create the ground for small businesses to set up and grow, would have just a bit more skepticism about big corporations and would join us it getting corporation and union money out of politics. I would love line item government waste be highlighted by conservatives in corporate pork, social programs, defense, and the simple task of running the bureaucracy, and ways to reduce it suggested, without their saying we don’t need government or that government is evil.
I would like liberals to focus on the issue of inequality and push back hard on it, reduce their funding links to Wall Street and try to regulate the latter, but also try to avoid doing this in ways that destroy value add business, especially by burdening small businesses with red tape. And so on….
I think we actually need all three or more different political strands to form checks and balances our US Constitution set out to make thrive. And the same in other democratic countries. The Constitution or any political system doesn’t work if you think that only your side, your carpentry, your plumbing, your electrical work is needed and you want to broom the influence of the other side, say all problems are their fault.
So I would welcome your bridging reaction firstly to the political division of labor idea, and then what you personally and respectfully would like the other sides (to your own) to contribute positively to the our political system and debates on what is to be done. Or you can simply say I am full of it…or that you really do want to broom the other sides and can’t see any value in them and why?