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Finding Common Ground With Teapartiers

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Several times, in recent months, I've had face to face conversations with teapartiers. The settings were NOT political. The conversations WENT political and each time, we were able to find common ground.

When I'm talking to a suburban white man who's over 40, I can just about be sure he's a conservative. Accuse me of stereotyping, but I'm almost always proven right. I was going to add the caveat that he have short hair, but no, not really.

So, lately, when I have these conversations, I look for areas of agreement. We start off with Obama. He sucks. He's a liar. Sure, we come to this from different perspectives, but the agreement starts there. (Obama lied that he was supportive of single payer. He cut a deal with insurers and big pharma early on that he'd protect them. Big knife stab in our backs.)

I bring up the world trade organization, NAFTA, CAFTA and say they have to go, that they're destroying American industries. Bingo-- agreement.

Monopoly protection for insurers? Time to get rid of it. Bingo. They agree. Maybe even get rid of it for baseball too.

Corporate personhood? Should corporations be allowed the same rights as real humans. Flop!! Libertarian ideas of rights of money, rights for all kick in, Not sure we'll find common ground there. Too bad.

Regulations for finance industry? Umm, there's that libertarian thing again-- leave 'em alone the libertarian teapartiers say (i correct myself from saying teabagger.)

How about that congress? Definitely agreement there. They suck. IN my conversation yesterday, the gentleman suggests we vote out all the incumbents. That would elect a Republican congress, unless a lot of independents won.
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Term limits on members of congress-- generally, there's agreement.

Election finance reform? Probably less if any agreement.

The Healthcare reform bill? Big agreement-- It's a loser, a rip-off. Here, of course, we come from very different perspectives, but we do have agreement.

States rights for health care reform. Definitely some agreement here. Guess what. Dennis Kucinich is working on legislation for this. Let's hope he writes it so it will win the Republican votes necessary for it to pass.

Ron Paul? There's a lot I disagree with about him, but at least I really know where he stands. I like the idea of closing hundreds of overseas bases and getting out of Iraq and Iran. I like canceling our membership in WTO, NAFTA and CAFTA. Sure he has policies I disdain, but we're talking here about finding common ground.
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Making it easier and fairer for third party candidates-- big agreement.

I think it's worth trying to talk to teapartiers more. Theoretically, when I think of these folks in my head, they are horrible, redneck, right wing extremists. But when I actually talk to them, they are civil, intelligent people with different points of view, middle class, struggling people facing many of the same challenges we all face. Sure, we have some huge areas of disagreement, but then, invariably, we find areas where we agree.

Lately, I'm thinking of organizing some kind of a meeting, a panel where progressives and teapartiers come together and seek areas of common ground. If we can do this and identify issues we can work together on, we might create what would be a nightmare for the duopoly politicians in congress.
Imagine if we came up with issues that we could force both parties to take stands on, in spite of their being owned by corporations.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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