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 MoveOn.org, 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 MoveOn.org 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