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    Breaking the “Left-Right Paradigm” one living room at a time

    Breaking the “Left-Right Paradigm” one living room at a time

    I am often asked why I remain a registered Democrat, despite my decidedly fiscal-sanity oriented independent streak.

    In part, it is how I can effectively fight the “left-right” political paradigm that is being used by the elite media and politicos to divide us, in order to better rule us.  My Democrat friends tend to listen more seriously to topics when they hear I am a Democrat — and I have even persuaded a vote or two as well!

    Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self Governance, has the breaking of this paradigm as one of his organization’s goals. Toward this effort, he sat down with Joan Blades, one of the co-founders of, for a casual meeting to explore common ground.

    His report, Hanging Out in Berkeley with my Friend, the Co-Founder of MoveOn.Org, is interesting.

    Joan and I were introduced almost two years ago by a mutual friend, Ralph Benko. Ralph concluded his introductory email between us with something like this line: “God help the politicians if the tea party and ever agree on anything.” Well the time has come for us to find some agreement. If you disagree, let me ask you a few questions that I’ve asked many of my friends on the left and right.

    • How many of you voted for trillion-dollar deficits? I haven’t yet met the voter who did, yet representatives on both sides of the aisle continue to impose them on us.
    • How many of you think we have the premier education system in the world, where the dollars and are efforts are focused on our kids? Hmmm…none of you? Then why are so many of our politicians on both sides of the aisle wedded to the status quo, and we see so little change?
    • How many of you think that our criminal justice system is the best in the world, and the War on Drugs has been a tremendous success? Hmmm…anyone…left or right? No? Then why are so many of our incumbent representatives on both sides of the aisle so weak when it comes to making any real criminal justice reforms?
    • How many of you think that we have far too much unproductive, government mandated paperwork? Everyone? Then why can’t we get our elected representatives at all levels to do something about this?

    There is much common ground on these and many other issues.

    Meckler was participating in Blade’s Living Room Conversations Project, which was initiated to test the hypothesis that people could come together through their social networks to engage in a self-guided structured conversation about a charged political issue. Each conversation had a designated set of ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ co-hosts, with each host inviting two of their friends or family that shared their political worldview to join an evening of conversation.

    The meeting did not resolve any particular issue, but Meckler says it was a success nonetheless.

    There are many things that divide us politically, and when the time comes, we’ll all still have our very partisan fights about those.  But we can’t continue to buy into the overall politics of hate, perpetrated upon us by politicians and others in the ruling elite who find it quite profitable to keep us apart in order to maintain the status quo.   When it serves the interests of “We the People,” we need to stand together and remind the politicians, they work for us, not the other way around.

    Blades felt the same way:

    The conversation was enthusiastic, lively and primarily focused on all the common ground we saw as well as revealing many issues we would like to talk more about. Right or left, none of us are comfortable with the degree of influence that big corporations have on government regulation


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    gottarideduc | January 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Mr. Meckler has the best of intentions, but he’s setting himself up as a useful idiot.

    We are dealing with a cunning, ruthless enemy whose goal is to take power forever. This requires the dismantling of the Republic. Their machine is hard at work. We must unite to have any chance at all. They only won by a small percentage.
    We don’t need to make common cause with their radicals, such as moveon.

    If you want to know how their power grab works, closely study the methods of the Nazis. There are parallels galore!

    Before Reagan created his coalition (which, btw, included people called Reagan Democrats), conservatives were not taken seriously at the national level. They were viewed as unelectable…eccentrics.

    Just sayin’.

      Browndog in reply to gs. | January 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Not sure what you’re ‘just sayin”

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Browndog. | January 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        I think gs means it’s not enough to be conservative because our numbers are too limited to win elections on our own, that conservatives must identify and build coalitions with other groups not quite so conservative, using as a historical example those more conservative minded Democrats who crossed the aisle to support Reagan after experiencing the results of the doe-eyed liberalism of Jimmuh Carter, et al.

        A huge opportunity may exist among hispanics, if the hispanics I encounter in my business are any example. A lot of the folks in my area (rural eastern NC) are socially conservative Catholics, and the majority of them agree with most of the conservative principles I’ve explained to them, explaining they had no idea and had assumed the Democrat Party was their only ticket to normalization. GOP outreach to hispanics is nonexistent here. I’ve had similar experiences with small town blacks here, big time church goers who are socially conservative, but blindly married to the Democrat Party. Again, I am repeatedly told I’m the only conservative they’ve ever heard from.

        It’s counterintuitive, but I think another possibility is union members, based on the idea that a good economy means good business and a more sustainable (can’t believe I’m using that word) job situation – less bennies than they’ve become accustomed (entitled) to over the past 30 years, but fewer bankruptcies and off-shoring of employer corporations. A tough sell, but as Obamacare kicks in and the economy continues to stagnate, business will suffer, as will employees, union members included.

        Yet another, often alluded to here at LI, is Jewish voters, especially as the post-election Obama – with his increased “flexibility” – and the rest of the anti-Israel liberal Democrats continue to establish their pro-Palestinian/pro-Islam prejudices.

        The bottom line problem, of course, is that the GOP is not conservative, indeed, is working to oust conservatives from its ranks.

          Henry, you’ve articulated my opinion better than I would have.

          I’m also saying that the consequences of blowing another election like we blew this one would be grim.

            Henry Hawkins in reply to gs. | January 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

            Thank you. The GOP is going to need another Reagan in terms of a candidate who is: 1) truly conservative rather than posing as such for the purpose of nomination (Romney), 2) politically savvy for building required coalitions, and 3) possessing the personal charisma needed to sway voters in the center/left-center. McCain ’08 and Romney ’12 had none of these attributes.

            Unfortunately, not only is the current GOP leadership incompetent to these requirements, it seems adamant about exorcising from their ranks the one good thing they have going for them – a conservative base of TPers and the great many who share the TP fiscal conservatism even if they don’t join groups or participate in activism.

            Had Romney been a true conservative willing to speak earnestly to conservative principles, his lack of charisma would have been forgiven and he’d have won. Had Romney been charismatic, his dubious conservatism would have been forgiven and he’d have won. His term as governor in MA indicates he has the political savvy required, but that alone wasn’t and isn’t enough, especially when the GOP nat’l leadership was doing its best to undermine conservative candidates, thereby alienating its own would-be base: nose off/face spited.

    BannedbytheGuardian | January 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    The Lesliedemocratea Party is moving on.

    What will it be next week?

    Leslie will be replaced by Anonomous ?

    Then we will have to campaign with signs outside the inter faith meetings -Bring Back Leslie!

    […] other day Legal Insurrection had a post about a meeting – pleasant and mutually enriching – between TEA Party and MoveOn […]

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