Out of the pain and frustrating dysfunction of the current win-lose political drama, a serious constituency is growing for a political system based in well tested win-win principles and practices (similiar to those adopted by large businesses over the past couple decades to reconcile the divergent interests of management, labor, and other “stakeholders.”) This constituency isn’t waiting for the political professionals to agree — its unlikely they ever will — it’s being driven by citizen leadership.
My faith and commitment to such a difficult to imagine transformation from win-lose to win-win politics is rooted in personal experience. In 2001 after spending the first half of my life as a strident hater of liberals, I left Republican politics exhausted and disillusioned to reflect in a cabin in the mountains of rural Virginia. At the age of 39 I was in personal crisis. I had recently lost a risky bid for Congress. My marriage, business and political reputation had disintegrated. After struggling with and for political power for almost a decade, fueled by an undercurrent of anger and righteousness, I had hit a wall.