The confirmation process for the
Supreme Court nominee
is on pause this week
as the Senate
awaits the findings
of an FBI investigation.
it looks like
no matter what
the investigation finds,
half of the country
is going to be
It feels like an impossible situation.
What can we do about it?
We can TALK to one another.
Is anyone happy with the way this is unfolding?
How can we fix the confirmation process?
How do we change the system
so we don't wind up in this
dysfunctional place again in the future?
We need to trust that our Supreme Court is unbiased.
It's hard to do that when the
confirmation process has become
so politically charged.
What can we do to make sure
Supreme Court nominees have overwhelming
support from both parties?
How do we restore the balance in the system?
What are your thoughts?
We take pride as a nation
that our government is
grounded in a
checks and balances.
Three equal branches of government...
Each with its own purpose...
Each with its own power...
Each supremely important.
This week, our nation is watching a
drama unfold between all three branches...
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial .
The Senate is holding additional hearings for
President Trump's nominee,
Judge Brett Kavanaugh,
to fill a spot on the Supreme Court
left open by the retirement of
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
This might be a good time for a little
Supreme Court confirmation trivia...
Who was the last Supreme Court justice
to be confirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate?
Justice Anthony Kennedy!
Wait...did you read that correctly?
The confirmation was unanimous?
In the Senate?
Is that even possible?
It was in 1987,
the year Kennedy was confirmed.
That's certainly a word we don't hear often connected with Congress.
But why not?
The process surrounding confirmation hearings for
Supreme Court justices has become
so politicized over the years,
it's hard to imagine any nominee
having unanimous support.
And yet, there have been many unanimous
or nearly unanimous confirmations
of justices in the Supreme Court's history.
Why is it so difficult today?
Is there a better way forward?
We'll watch and wait this week as the Senate hears testimony and
and makes a final decision about the Kavanaugh nomination.
As we're watching and waiting,
let's ask ourselves...
What do WE think about the whole confirmation process?
Is something broken with the system?
Is there a way to fix it?
What are the
Does the simple majority Senate vote make sense?
Would some kind of supermajority--60 votes--or 2/3--be better?
Could we even ask for a 3/4 majority? Would that be possible?
What about the tenure for Supreme Court justices?
Should justices continue to have lifelong appointments?
If they had term limits, what might that look like?
Would it be better to stagger the replacement of justices somehow?
It's in our nation's best interest
to keep politics
out of the Supreme Court.
Maintaining the integrity
of the Supreme Court
is vital for our beloved
checks and balances.
Let's work together
find a better way
It's important work...
Happy Peace Day!
The International Day of Peace is celebrated
each year on September 21st.
The United Nations established "Peace Day"
by unanimous resolution in 1981.
It's a day for people around the world
to focus on building a culture of peace together.
Each year, the UN selects a theme for Peace Day.
This year's big idea is...
"The Right to Peace-
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70."
Have you ever read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
You can explore it here...
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It's powerful and important reading.
In the United States we take many of these human rights for granted.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.
On Peace Day this year,
lets remember that
Freedom of Belief,
Freedom of Expression,
Freedom of Assembly
are all considered basic human rights.
When we come together in the
Purple Living Room Project
we are exercising all three of these rights.
We are fortunate that we can do so freely.
Let's #Standup4humanrights around the world.
The UN has a Pledge you can take...
It's an important pledge for all of us.
You can take the official pledge HERE.
On Peace Day this year, let's
sit down and talk together...
Then let's take a stand together
for human rights around the world...
and be grateful we have the right to do so freely.
Election Day is just around the corner...
Are you registered to vote?
If you're not registered yet,
it's time to get moving!
Many states require voters to register
30 days before election day.
If you're not registered to vote,
please STOP reading now
and CLICK HERE...
If you are already registered,
REMEMBER to VOTE!
We can talk and talk and talk
red and blue and purple
in the face,
but the most meaningful
we can take as citizens
is to exercise
our civic duty
Let's keep talking
until we are
red and blue and purple
in the face...
and then let's walk over
to the polling place
Backpacks are filled,
Pencils are sharpened,
Laptops are charged...
It's the beginning of a new school year!
What will our children be learning?
How to talk and listen to one another.
Have you ever seen the
Common Core Standards
for speaking and listening?
Here is what we expect of our high school seniors when they graduate...
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
We set the bar high for collaboration skills...
and we should do so.
We should also be able to practice what we benchmark.
We need to model the art of respectful conversation for our children.
The Purple Points Protocol combines
many of these important skills
in an easy-to-use format.
Why not try it out?
As our kids go back to school,
let's get back to our own speaking and listening.
Let's show our nation's youth
we know how to
talk the talk
walk the walk.
This week, we remember Senator John McCain.
It has been striking to read the remembrances
from Senator McCain's colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans and Democrats alike
admired Senator McCain
for his straight talk
and his principled actions.
Republicans and Democrats alike called him friend.
His voice will be sorely missed in our national debates.
The quote above is taken from McCain's recently published memoir.
Here is the quote in context...
"Before I leave, I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. I'd like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different. We're citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it. Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect, as so long as our character merits respect, and as long as we share for all our differences for all the rancorous debates that enliven and sometimes demean our politics, a mutual devotion to the ideals our nation was conceived to uphold that all are created equal and liberty and equal justice are the natural rights of all. Those rights inhabit the human heart, and from there though they may be assailed, they can never be wrenched.
I want to urge Americans for as long as I can to remember that this shared devotion to human rights is our truest heritage and our most important loyalty."
"Whether we think each other
right or wrong
in our views on the issues of the day,
we owe each other our respect"
John McCain listened respectfully to other opinions while
still standing up for what he believed to be right.
He valued the debate that comes from
citizens respectfully engaged in political conversations.
Senator McCain showed us what bipartisanship could look like...
When McCain received his party's nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in 2008,
he included these words in his acceptance speech......
"Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement."
"Despite our differences, much more unites than divides us."
Let's take Senator McCain's words to heart
and look for what we have in common.
His parting words give us hope that this is possible...
"...we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we'll get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do."
RIP Senator McCain
Thank you for your service to our nation.
When you see that word spelled out,
one spectacular voice comes to mind, right?
Otis Redding wrote the song,
Aretha Franklin made it an anthem.
As we honor the memory of the remarkable
Queen of Soul this week,
let's pause to consider the concept of RESPECT.
Find out what it means to me!
What does it mean to YOU?
What does it mean in the Purple Living Room Project?
is the first word in the
All of our conversations
must start with respect
in order for us to
find purple points together.
We use an equal sign to represent the word RESPECT because in order to give respect to others,
we need to acknowledge that they have an equal right to their
beliefs and opinions.
That's sometimes hard to do,
but we can make it happen.
Let's try it...
Let's give each other
Not just a little bit...
Let's give a LOT!
Let's take a moment to talk about kindness.
It's something we're missing in many of our national conversations.
Debates are increasingly rancorous.
Insults are hurled from the right and the left.
Everyone starts yelling louder and with more vitriol just to be heard.
Let's stop and remember...
Kindness is always possible.
It's a choice.
Take a moment to think of the many forms
of kindness you've experienced today.
Help you with a small task?
Make something for you?
Hold a door for you?
Cheer you up?
What did you do for someone else?
How have you made someone else's day brighter?
Kindness is a central part of the Purple Code...
"We will be kind with our words and actions."
It's a choice we make
each time we come together
to find Purple Points.
We make a commitment to be
to one another while we look for common ground.
Let's try to carry that spirit of kindness into all of our interactions...
It's always possible.
If laughter is the best medicine, it's time for a national prescription.
As political tension continues to mount across our country,
we need a way to let off some steam.
The Purple Code intentionally includes the word...
If we're going to look for common ground,
a great first question to ask is...
What can we laugh about together?
Let's find out!
As we're gathering to find purple points,
let's try not to take ourselves too seriously.
If we can approach our dialogue with
an open heart and a good sense of humor,
we stand a better chance of finding common ground.
Here's a joke to get us started...
Lettuce laugh a little together!
The news is full of clouds these days.
No matter who you are
or where you live
or what you believe...
it's easy to get lost in the clouds.
Can we listen to the wise words of poet Maya Angelou?
Can we try to be a rainbow for those around us?
There are many kinds of clouds
and many different rainbows
needed in this overcast world of ours.
The Purple Living Room Project aims to break up
the clouds of political division around us.
Each time we have a
around an issue that matters....
Each time we communicate
with our elected officials about
where we find common ground...
Each time we listen to one another
and laugh together...
We're sending a little bit of colorful light into the world.
So, let's get moving, rainbows!
If we each take this message to heart,
we can break through the clouds
"Meet in the Middle" is a Purple Living Room campaign encouraging people from across the political spectrum to meet together each week in order to find common ground. Each middle of the week (WEDNESDAY!) we'll post an update on Purple Living Room Project activities. Share YOUR progress on our Facebook group page or in the comments here. Our goal?