Introducing The Transpartisan Review Project

Dear Citizen for Health,

Below is an introduction to The Transpartisan Review project.

My co-author, Lawry Chickering, and I are developing the Review to expand the themes in our 2008 book Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life.

I think it is of special importance and relevance to Citizens for Health because health is one of the largest arenas where people from every section of the political discourse gather in the drive for improvement.

Conservatives, liberals, libertarian, greens, other third parties  and unaffiliateds across the country see the breakdown of health and the healthcare system as a pressing matter of our national discussion.

We offer our transpartisan analysis as one way to think about health and a myriad of other national topics in which discord currently dominates our discourse.  I hope it is useful to you.

–Jim Turner
Chair, Citizen for Health

From: A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner
To: Fellow Transpartisans
Subject: Introducing The Transpartisan Review
Date: July 4, 2016We plan to launch a journal, The Transpartisan Review, after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Between now and the election, we and others will write weekly ‘Notes’ and comments to introduce ideas in The Transpartisan Forum to inspire and shape the Journal.

On July 4, 2008, the de Vinci Press published our book, Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life, which was meant to be a sequel and expansion of Lawry Chickering’s earlier Beyond Left and Right (1993). Voice reflected and contributed to a decade-long conversation about integrating diverse political impulses into concerted political action.

The book reported various ‘strange-bedfellows’, including left-right initiatives from these and other groups. All over America, national, regional and local groups working across partisan divides were transforming conflict into solutions for challenging problems.

From 2003 to 2008, we participated in Reuniting America (RA), a group of leaders from about thirty organizations, with 30 million members. RA self-identified as half ‘left’ and half ‘right,’ including MoveOn.org, The Christian Coalition, Common Cause and Americans for Tax Reform.

In 2016, researcher David Dagan called the work ‘transpartisan’—people ‘reasoning from their ideological first principles.’ Unlike bipartisan, he said, transpartisan does not look ‘for compromise . . . this is a different kind of story, about true believers on each side reaching similar conclusions.’

Transpartisan activity is often lost in news that focuses only on conflict. We see ‘transpartisan’ as an additional lens through which to view, analyze and shape political events. The Transpartisan Review will provide focus for this lens, shining lights on new approaches that bring people together while solving problems.

Writer A. Lawrence Chickering, a conservative Republican activist, began his professional career at the National Review and counted William F. Buckley and Milton Friedman among his closest friends. Attorney James S. Turner, an original Nader’s Raider and progressive Democrat, aligns with the positions of his political allies and friends Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and the late Howard Metzenbaum.

Chickering and Turner are both avid basketball fans. Chickering is a native San Franciscan who hangs on Warriors’ Steph Curry’s every shot. Turner hails from Cleveland and revels in LeBron James’ return to the Cavaliers. Both rooted fanatically for the other’s team in the run up to what they believed was one of the greatest finals in NBA history. Life and the NBA did not disappoint them. Strong partisans make good transpartisans.

Our next post today is our first blog entry on this topic. This week we will be sending a special Note, because of the importance of the issue, on Brexit. We hope you will enjoy these Notes and want to recommend others who are looking for new ideas in this political season, ravaged by conflict. We also hope you will consider writing material for the Notes and the Journal.

Let us know what you think!

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