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"The temper and integrity of the political dialogue are more important for the cohesiveness of society than the outcome of any election."--Jim Leach, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman
The really bold big idea of our Founders was that, never mind all of recorded history before them, "We the People" could be our own bosses. This was a pretty nervy proposition, especially because they were the ones standing in front of the vast unwashed masses that were - well - us. But it was a time when they were disillusioned with kings and queens and the like. And it was a time of incredible optimism and new possibility as the printing press brought knowledge to the common man.
The Founders not only expected us to disagree with each other, they counted on it.
Legal scholar Cass Sunstein describes the most profound insight of the framers as "to see heterogeneity as a creative force which would enable people not to hate each other but to think more productively about what might be done to solve problems. It turned this vice into a virtue."
Born was the uniquely American marketplace of ideas, where ideas push, pull and strain each other, and the best ideas rise to the top. But for it to work, we've got to be engaged with each other having discussions of substance. If the Republicans and Democrats are opposing counsel in this courtroom of democracy, then we're the jury that judges their wisdom and veracity. These days we function as a "jury" that is divided into team defense and team prosecution and it's near impossible to find a real conversation.
We'd better start one.
We the Wiki is that conversation. The "Partisanship" space is a conversation about the conversation.
GO! A really good country is depending on you.