Bob Franken

From Huffington Post


“Yeah sure. Whatever”. Doesn’t that pretty much sum up the disgusted reaction of so many who watch the partisan buffoonery bleating from the political extremes. And why not? There doesn’t seem to be a place for those whose hearts and minds are not out there in never never land.

What if that wasn’t the case? What if there was a place for the great bulk of us who refuse to be defined with a dogmatic label. It might even be cleverly called “No Labels”. What a concept!!

Except it is no longer just a concept. No Labels, a group dedicated to organizing and inspiring a committed uncommitted of the political spectrum is about to kick off nationwide with from Columbia University this weekend.

It is self consciously nonpartisan by being bipartisan to the core. The founders are Democratic eminence Nancy Jacobson and GOP insider Mark McKinnon.

I am a member and participant in the rollout, fronting the webcast of the day’s events at It begs the question about how a professed journalist can publicly identify with a political organization, since not taking sides is fundamental to what we do (or used to do and should be). That is exactly the point. No Labels, as the name makes clear, takes no side, unless you call common sense a side. It appeals to my professional ambivalence and personal one about most issues.

The idea is to appeal to those who believe that rarely does anyone have a corner on the truth, that the strongest result is usually obtained by taking the best from all the arguments.

That’s hardly a revolutionary concept but it is one that has gotten drowned out by all the simple minded screeching. Initial support has come from groups and corporations who realize that their personal fortunes are tied to the nation’s fortunes which are jeopardized by the toxic environment that hangs over our bitter divisions.

This opener might be worth watching. Rap star Akon will be one of the stars. The list of major actors in the political realm is still being developed from among those who have succeeded by carving their own path in the audacious middle.

As for everyone else, there will be an invitation to join up do more than just shake their heads at the stupid and self serving bickering. If it works, there can be a groundswell aimed at forcing the country back onto a sensible path before it’s overgrown and shuts our the nation ‘s light. It’s maybe the last chance for all of us to do more about civic involvement than grumbling “Whatever”

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