Society

Making America Great Again is in our Power

Instead of reading Facebook posts and your favorite media outlet's headlines, I hope you will take a minute to think about what each of us can do to make America truly great again. 

I have these questions in my soul and I imagine you do too. I turned to Parker Palmer's wisdom in Healing the Heart of Democracy (2014) and here are some of his suggestions.

  • Our political talk is often about people who aren't in the room. We can choose to talk with people who may have different positions with honest, curious engagement. Where do we have common ground on the issues we most care about? This is what We The People looks like.

  • Dividing us, as the bipartisan Senate Intel Committee has found was the intent of those who want to destroy democracy, is a way to disempower all of us. How many times after reading what you see on a screen do you think consensus is impossible or even undesirable? For now, think about all the ways you do hold tension with others and solve problems in other aspects of your life and begin to believe that it is possible for us to do this on a larger scale.

  • If you think politics are controlled by Big Money and you are powerless as a single voice, consider what Bill Moyers said:" The antidote, the only antidote, to the power of organized money is the power of organized people." Sixteen states have now called for a Constitutional Amendment to nullify the impact of Citizens United and at least 15 more have calls in the pipeline. This is because people from the left, center and right on the political spectrum have learned how to hold their differences, find common ground, and make common cause on an issue that effects all of us.

  • Do you believe change is possible? Do you have faith in our shared humanity? Parker Palmer has a way to reduce conflict in communities - he invites people on both sides of a contentious issue to spend a day together. Before 2 pm they are not allowed to reveal their position on that issue. But before 2 pm they are encouraged to tell each other stories that led to their position. He says that time and time again the conflict dissipates and the conversation moves forward after 2.

This one is on us. Not those in Washington, not on your elected officials. not on the people outside the room.

Warmly,
Karen