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The Art of Political Dialogue

In Poliogue on August 10, 2010 at 2:36 am

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

I just finished taking a quiz from the November 2009 issue of O Magazine. I found it laying on my mother’s bed and what drew me to it was a bold “Who Are You Meant to Be?’ on the cover. I flipped to the required page and then perused the section stopping at the quiz of the same name. The instructions involved a bubble test and excel at the bubble test. The answers ranged from Never to Always when thinking of reaction to certain situation. “Read each of the following statements and ask yourself how true it is”. Easy enough. As it turns out I am “Striving to Be Creative” as well as “Striving to Be Recognized”. It was suggested that I am an artist and achiever. I am an original and I know it. I’m ambitious, competitive and hardworking. I should write and I should be a politician.

I often use magazines to find out the obvious.

***

Way back during my trip to Houston I confessed to Susan and Maggie that I wanted to write more about politics. I’ve always wanted to write more about politics but I thought that people would find it silly. So to say it out loud was a big deal. It seems that I also need approval but there was no quiz about that. They both gave the thumbs up and said, “Duh, silly”. There was also some talk of how I wanted for politicians to use social media more effectively. To supplement but not necessarily supplant.

Quick digression because I’m smiling to myself right now: Supplement vs. supplant was a major part in the American Recovery and Reinvestment act with regard to how states could use Title I funds. I walked around for months with those two words written on an index card tucked neatly in my back pocket. But supplement and not supplant is what I think that politicians should do when it comes to using social media. I recently spoke with a member of congress whom I adore about his use of Twitter. I told him that I love that he has a presence there and he informed that he hated it. He feared that ‘our children’ were going to grow up without feeling a handshake and rely too much on computers as their form of communication. He missed the old days of going door to door and worried that we were moving to far from that. I couldn’t help but agree. But I do believe that using things like Facebook and Twitter can also assist the constituent/representative relationship. It’s another way for those who so frequently feel disconnected from what is going on within a Capital (or Capitol) or inside the Beltway to feel a bit more connected. It’s a new and different way to engage with those who are being represented but in no way should replace the art of doing a door-to-door on a Saturday morning. Never forgetting that people genuinely appreciate the latter.

***

Over the almost five years that I have had this site I have debated how and when to write about politics. I don’t want to bore people to death while regaling you all with tales of bicameral systems and voting (democracy is so boring). Then again if you really enjoy something, find yourself truly passionate about a subject, you write about it. The goal here is not to shove my political agenda and beliefs down your throat. The goal is just to engage and discuss and for me to do something I enjoy. We all as individuals need to make up our own minds when it comes to politics and our feelings towards what goes on in this country what I want to do is make it easier to have dinner party conversation on the economy or who is running or why midterm elections bring out the worst in politicians but very little from the electorate.

If you look at the top there’s a tab that says ‘Poliogue’ which is a word I made up meaning The Art of Political Dialogue. I don’t expect for people to be rabid C-SPAN fans and blubber when Steny Hoyer utters a simple hello. I would like for people to feel more engaged this election year and (to infinity) and beyond. I promise not to bore you to death or be all inside baseball and will continue to discuss what happens in this country with an air of humor and storytelling and not long winded and regurgitated polling courtesy of the AP. So join me. Please? It won’t hurt. Promise.

(You can follow here http://twitter.com/poliogue or tell me what you want to hear about here Poliogue@gmail.com)

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