It was right before the 2010 elections, and I read a Sunday interview in The Dallas Morning News with Mark McKinnon about the need for civility in political discussions and the new group being formed. The new group is No Labels. After reading that column, I immediately went to their website and joined.
Although I liked the focus on spending the Tea Party brought to the elections, I did not like the tenor of the conversations. It wasn’t just the Tea Party; it was coming from Republicans and Democrats alike. Fanning the flames were several non-news news people – those have their own TV or radio shows and need to say something to get attention.
So went the election cycle, as well as the past 10 years. If someone did not like your position, then they did not like you and would do almost anything to thwart progress or defeat you. This is where we have been.
No Labels has nothing to do with political parties, yet it has everything to do with how people and, particularly, public officials discuss issues and resolve challenges. Almost a year ago, I wrote about returning to a 1980s-style of politics. It was a time of many challenges, yet people met in the middle to try to solve problems. No Labels seems to promote this type of approach again in American politics.
Sometimes, it is easier to define something by stating what it is not. To me, No Labels is not:
- Abandoning all principles for the sake of a civil conversation
- Creating an anti-Tea Party movement
- Holding hands and singing “Kum By Ya” and pretending differences don’t exist
To me, No Labels is:
- Working together, civilly, to solve our big challenges ahead (and, we have them)
- Agreeing to disagree, and then moving forward
- Focusing on the issues and not the person(s)
- Discussing and debating the issue, and then resolving it
To make this happen, we, as citizens, need to hold our elected officials accountable to keeping the rhetoric down and the ability to solve issues up. It is a balance with civil tones and a handshake after a debate and resolution.
No Labels has gathered momentum, but more is needed. To hold officials accountable, more citizens need to get involved with No Labels.
Go to the No Labels website, join the movement. Your help is needed.
Simply put, strength in numbers will deliver strength in holding everyone accountable. More people also translates into greater commitment to the movement of solving long-term challenges rather than scoring hourly or daily points in political rhetoric.
Join me, and others, now.