CivilPolitics.org is undergoing a transition where we move from trying to bring groups and individuals together to leveraging our academic/research expertise to support other groups doing such work. One such organization that we are working with is Living Room Conversations, a group founded by MoveOn.org co-founder Joan Blades, in collaboration with a former GOP-operative. In an experience that dovetails well with research showing that personal relationships matter and finding common goals helps create common ground, we were recently heartened to hear how she invited Mark Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, over to her house for tea. According to the article from the San Francisco Chronicle:
[Living Room Conversations] involves one or two co-hosts pulling together an intimate gathering of folks who might believe they agree on little politically – until they sit down together to listen to one another's perspective. Civilly… Eventually, they find places they agree…After three hours of watching one another's media caricatures evaporate, the six decided that, for starters, they'd all support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act….Too often, outfits like MoveOn and the Tea Party get so wrapped up in beating each other in the partisan, Twitter-driven politics of the moment that they don't take time to see who is picking both of their pockets.
If you'd like to support the efforts of Living Room Conversations, consider signing their petition available at this link.
- Ravi Iyer