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Political "Salons"

I am recommending the revival of
political "Salons" here in America.


You want to "DO" something to help fix the nation? Do this.

These classic political gatherings moved political thought ahead during our Founding, in a way we're not getting in this country, and that we sorely need.

I've been attending several ad hoc Salons for quite a while. Read the Wikipedia entry to know more about the classical Salon model. ("A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host...") http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_%28gathering%29

Better than Town Halls, perfect for Tea Parties or any social group, they are political brainstorms that tap the wisdom of the entire audience instead of just the words from a podium. And they're enormous fun and exciting.

Tea Parties are an ideal place on a night. After trying it once, I believe it would take off, it's that good. Here's how:

What's the biggest political question on YOUR mind? The issue you think most needs to be addressed? Write it down on a piece of paper. Hand that to the evening's moderator.

When the moderator reads your question to the group, you get a few moments to elaborate, and then one-by-one people speak up about it. One opinion leads to another until issues get pretty well aired (caution -- can get raucous!, moderators must keep control, one voice at a time!). You have to try it to understand, it's active involvement instead of passive. Solutions come up. When things seems ripe, go to the next question.

Yes, quietly listening to someone at a podium is OK.

But variety is spice, and once you add Salon time to your meetings, your speakers will have a hard time getting a word in edgewise. They'll be too busy participating along with everyone. "Participatory Republic." Hmmm.

I am recommending the revival of Salons here in America.
You're Americans. You can do this.
Try it. Once.

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  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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