This morning’s AJC Jolt has the following entry:
The Government Affairs Council of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce – the political arm of the largest business group in the state — gathers on St. Simons Island later this week.
A topic on the Wednesday agenda: “Social Radicals & Their Influence on Georgia’s Political Landscape,” an address by Charlie Harper, a PeachPundit contributor who is now executive director of PolicyBEST, a middle-of-the-road advocacy group.
On Thursday’s line-up: An assessment of the Georgia Coalition for Job Creation, the chamber’s effort to impact state legislative races. The speakers are a Marietta triangle of political strategists: Chip Lake, Chris Carpenter and Mitch Hunter.
While I will be speaking to the group tomorrow morning, the working title from this agenda is neither mine nor reflects the topics I intend to address. At PolicyBEST we have focused on building coalitions, and that means speaking to people with diverse interests, backgrounds, and goals to find common ground. Since forming the group, I’ve addressed a Tea Party Leaders Summit, a meeting of the Conference for a New Urbanism, and various other civic and community groups. I find many of these groups tend to look at their opposition with skepticism and sometimes members use names for their opponents that appear/are pejorative.
There is a lot of name calling in today’s politics that comes from all sides. All. Sides.
Labeling and name calling of the opposition isn’t helpful to finding common ground. Whether demonizing grassroots activists or the business community, liberals or conservatives, projecting titles with negative connotations don’t move the process forward.
To be clear, “Social Radicals” will not be used in either the title or as the basis of my presentation. Frankly, I don’t even know what that term is supposed to mean or who it would represent. We’ll instead focus on how to build consensus around major topics and reaching across ideological lines. That’s the kind of radicalism that is sorely needed right now.