Main Line Women Form Bipartisan Group to Change America
I attended a gathering recently of bright, impassioned women. No, it wasn’t Fifty Shades of Grey book night on the Main Line, but rather a group of women from different backgrounds who came together to discuss the future of our country.
We’re all pretty worried. The fiscal cliff is looming; federal debt is huge and growing; the rest of the world is either broke or trying to wipe each other off the map; our infrastructure is crumbling; our education system is producing children who rank lower and lower in proficiency; and our Congress is willing to be ineffectual and unwilling to compromise for the good of their constituency and the country, all for the sake of job security. And worst of all, maybe, we’re in a country divided like we’ve never seen before. Democrats and Republicans both think the other side is evil, vile, dangerous and, the worst sin of all, stupid. And we’re all so sure that the other side is beyond redemption that very little bipartisan discussion takes place anymore.
Well, not in this group. This group came together, checked their political party affiliation at the door and sat down to do what women do better than men: discuss without accusation, listen with an open mind and without prejudgment, and stay focused on a goal that we all know will require compromise. Now I’m not saying that all women are selfless wonders, but I think a woman’s nature and historical stature (or lack of) has necessitated the development of some awesome negotiating skills, usually predicated on a sense of selflessness and born of the desire to stay focused and on task for the good of the family, company, community, country—you insert whatever word you like. A woman can get the job done.
So we started to discuss what we think is wrong with the world and what we can do to change it. Wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who said all great change in America begins at the dinner table? We were at the breakfast table, but I guess that counts. Two and a half hours later we seemed to have agreed on a few things: that America’s changed demographics along with the increasing divisiveness of the political arena have allowed for the emergence of “single-issue voters,” voters who feel that the magnitude of one issue is greater than the sum of a politician’s platform, whether it’s abortion or gay marriage or immigration or domestic energy exploration or entitlement spending or tax increases. We identified the need to educate the young voter about the structure of government and why it’s important to involve themselves in the process. And most importantly, we felt strongly that we wanted to be a force for bipartisan discussion.
We’ve secured a domain name and are working on a site that will encourage bipartisan discussion and also give blog time to our individual members (at present, we are a group of eight). We hope to develop a bipartisan presentation about the structure and machinations of government. We are encouraging other women to start their own discussion groups and to reach out to their unique communities. Like Thelma and Louise, if we’re going over a cliff, these women want to be at the wheel. Good for you, ladies—let’s change the world.