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Sender: "Bruce Schuman"
Subject: The Uninvolved Citizen and Transpartisanship
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014
Msg: 100823

From: List for transpartisan leaders and innovators [mailto:TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG] On Behalf Of William Schenken Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 5:15 PM To: TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG Subject: Re: [TRANSPARTISAN] The Uninvolved Citizen and Transpartisanship


Introduction: My name is Bill Schenken. I am on the Board of the Bellingham (Washington State) City Club, I was referred to this list as I am in the process of working to expand the City Club's activity activities to include dialog based events. I am also passionate about transpartianship and the hope of productive civic discourse.

A big thank you to the founders and participants - my few days of reading have been truly inspiring!

Re thread topic: I got started as an activist 30 years ago helping my mom label and stamp mailers (I'm 36). I have been on the sidelines of activism for the past 10 years because I came to believe that all of the modes I knew of political interaction were ineffective at catalyzing the kind of change we need to address the systemic challenges we face (from my liberal perspective: climate change, bio-diversity, economic inequality, etc). I do believe that activists and political groups win battles but are losing the war, so to speak.

Someone once told me laziness does not exist; just a lack of perceived reward. I feel this situation is that simple. It was for me. Most of my peers are very enthusiastic about localism and make economically irrational (from a neo-con perspective) choices to pursue its aims because they believe it will make a difference. That leads me to believe that many of my peers will participate in a political system where they believe their effort will be rewarded. What 'reward' means and how to develop that system are complicated questions for conversation, but I think the premise of lack of perceived reward is a good frame for the conversation. And finish my personal story, I think tranpartianship (as I understand it) holds the promise of rewards significant enough to motivate me to get back into the game.

Thanks for listening,

Bill Schenken

On Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM, peter altschul wrote:


While I am certain that ignorance plays a role in citizen noninvolvement, I'm not convinced that's the main reason which, I believe, has to do with the rancorous ways most political leaders choose to react to those with whom they disagree. What most of us see in these interactions is a blend of snarky condescension, which is a big turn-off. In my experience, this is often different from the way "average" people deal with those they disagree with - a blend of ignoring, cautious conversing, and sometime, at least, the hint of a common understanding. It is, I believe, these differing interaction styles that creates many of us to shut down.

Best wishes,

Peter Altschul, MS



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