Transpartisan Note #94
by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner
We published the first in our series of weekly Transpartisan Notes on July 4th, 2016. In the 22 months since, the world has turned upside down. As we approach our 100th Note, we see the forces of individuation challenging the institutions of order across the globe in every walk of life.
In the past two years, we’ve also published two issues of The Transpartisan Review (featuring sixteen articles), shared three special notes, a transpartisan bibliography, and focused on the importance of tools such as our Transpartisan Matrix and Joan Blades’ Living Room Conversations to help people understand the forces reshaping our world.
Each Transpartisan Note, each article, each lead presents an example of political opponents problem-solving together or ordinary people in transpartisan collaboration, or a combination of both. Our accumulating inventory of transpartisan examples shares a vision of political interactions quite different from the click-bait news of daily political conflict.
Taking stock of our two year effort, we see this transpartisan vision gaining ground in the lives of actual people, even as it remains virtually invisible in the hyper-polarized, entertainment-driven, 24/7 circus of partisan debate that continues to alienate people from parochial political, bickering gridlock.
Imagine alternative paths leading to political successes that are all but impossible for the petty partisans to conceive. Around the world individual force challenges institutional power in ways unprecedented, unexpected, and unwelcomed by those occupying positions of institutional power.
Let’s begin with individual constituencies’ seemingly contrary demands: more transparency and more privacy; more government services and lower taxes; more freedom and more security; more income and less useless work; more sexual freedom and more sexual responsibility; and fewer abortions along with more reproductive choice.
This list of assumed dichotomies goes on and on. Today’s political class (15% right, 15% left) leverages these contrary perspectives and fights, fights, fights. It seems to enjoy fighting, egged on by a media that maximize revenues by reporting “stories” of conflict. We urge this conflict include transpartisan approaches to integrate these dichotomies into policy approaches that might actually solve problems.
By transpartisan we refer to the over 70% of American citizens who are non-registered eligible voters — along with the registered non-voting citizens, the registered voting Independents, registered voters who choose none-of-the-above, and the “hold-your-nose” Democrats and Republicans — all who want more to politics than partisan infighting.
Our Transpartisan Notes have included examples from the policy dichotomy areas listed above, and we are aware of many others. In a future Transpartisan Note — How The Transpartisan Vision Gains Traction II — we will reprise some previous notes and suggest new initiatives.
As people learn about Transpartisan, it gains traction.