THE BLOG

Bridging the Growing Divide

04/06/2015 11:40 am ET | Updated Jun 06, 2015

More Americans then ever have become frustrated with the unbridled lack of civility, crippling partisanship and dysfunctional gridlock that is preventing our country from solving the serious problems we face on a daily basis.

The Constitution of the United States prescribes the principles and rules that have defined the organization of our government and which continue to a serve as the supreme law of the land, yet over 200 years later We The People still struggle to live up to the standards our Founding Fathers had envisioned.

Despite its magnificence, the Constitution does not fully address the particulars of the manner in which the citizenry are to utilize its marvelous blueprint for self-governance. Our Founding Fathers' own words reflect the vision they shared for this country of many differences. They called ours, a government: "Of the people, by the people and for the people."

And so how can We The People make a difference in the direction our Country is going? The answer is that as frustrating as the times are, now more then ever, citizens have the ability to change the very nature of how our government functions. With the phenomenal growth of the Internet and social media networking, millions of Americans are now forming powerful Alliances that can truly make a difference.

There is a rising American tide -- conservatives, liberals, and independents, centrists and moderates, educated and working class Americans who are looking for something different. They are bridging the growing divides in our political system, and know that our leaders must work together to solve the great challenges facing our nation.

A group called No Labels dedicated to a new politics of problem solving has a Congressional caucus of Democrats and Republicans who meet regularly to put partisan politics aside and have now co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to improve the functions of the federal government.

An organization called Village Square hosts regular town hall meetings that bring people together who disagree with each other, but still talk and may even like each. The forging of these new relationships amongst citizens and the building of an informed citizenry is an important step in changing the political process in our country.

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation is a network of thousands of innovators who bring people together across divides to tackle today's toughest challenges and serves as a gathering place, a resource clearinghouse, a news source, and a facilitative leader for this extraordinary community. As a result actions are being taken on a local, state and even federal level to change the political climate in our country.

There are many more organizations thousands of members doing great work to bridge the divide in America. Citizens from across the country are joining groups like the above to urge their Congressman to put country before party and address the serious problems that face our country.

The reforms that are needed are many. Some that are already being addressed include:
-Changing the primary system so that independent voters are not excluded from the electoral process
-Address the pervasive problem of money in politics by amending the Constitution to reverse decisions like Citizens United.
-Lobby to modify a gerrymandering process that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party by creating partisan advantaged districts.
-Modify the rules of Congress that often discourage open dialogue and collaboration.

The work of citizens from across the country to change the political process of governance has just begun, and the task is not an easy one. Many of my friends and associates say the system can never change. I say that our Founding Fathers were considered to be idealists by some, and that the Constitution they designed still endures 200-plus years later. We can and must build upon their brilliant and exemplary framework to finish what they collectively intended, but never managed to complete. We must define and implement a process of governance in our country built upon civil discourse and critical thinking.