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Framing the Conservative & Progressive Conversation

Originally contributed to the NCDD Event Blog in 2008 by David Messerschmidt…

Walking Our Talk: What Our Field can Learn From Conservatives

David Joseph introduced the session. David is from Massachussetts. He recalled living through the election when only Massachussets went for …  And he described the first NCDD conference where the answer to the publicly asked question–Who did you vote for?–there were hands indicating “Bush” fewer in number than the panel of five on the stage.

Joseph recommended a new book: The Big Sort which describes the growth of landside counties, more counties with strong single party representation. Joseph suggests we are becoming a “re-segregated” country, segregated by more people living with others like them.

Michael Ostrolenk, Joseph McCormick, Pete Peterson, Grover Norquist

Values Driven –

Quotes from Panelists –

Norquist recalled the Paul Newman clips in the last week and the quote, “There are no rules in a knife fight.”


The use of language. How do you frame an event — National Conference on Energy Change and Climate Change.

Norquist – “The word “consciousness” should only be used in boxing movies.”

The marketplace is civic engagement. It’s going on all the time, reflected in what people choose to spend their money on.

“I’ve always felt talked down to by progressives.”  As if you are more “evolved.”

The expense of community in our policy decisions.

Subjectives, citizen, customer….

Joseph – Tools of dialogue and deliberation were applied to business in the ’80s.  I think it can be applied government.

Personal level, interpersonal level, then transpersonal level.  A growing transpartisan movement. There’s a consciousness  — (oops) ok future pull.

Integrative medicine, organic food, organic schooling….

Norquist and Nader

Mao said talk, talk, fight, fight.

Spend a weekend with them. “They’re stupid, not evil.”

The small group — There is a value in a the continuing conversation across difference, it is about understanding. We’re likely to find some common ground.

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