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Can people debate issues without anger and division? The five clergy who make up Tallahassee’s “God Squad” say it’s possible because of the friendship and faith at the core of their long-running civic experiment.
Throughout those battles, antidotes to our civic poisons have always run through the American bloodstream too. Americans have continually found ways to neutralize their discord and catalyze diversity, turning them into sources of strength.
Early legislators came to work “in the spirit of avowed misunderstanding, without the smallest wish to agree.” Jefferson’s solution? He invited diverse lawmakers to dinner and was widely credited with saving democracy. Maybe we can too?
This entire year The Village Square will look for, talk about – and honor – people who stand up and make things happen where we live right here in Tallahassee. In this final leg of our journey, we’ll be guided by Futurist and former Walt Disney Blue Sky Studio Imagineer Joe Tankersly to change our future by telling a story. The Story of Us.
In 1798 James Madison wrote of the press: “To the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.” In 2020, if Madison was correct then reason and humanity could be in for an even rougher ride.
Localism isn’t just a distraction (though thankfully it is a distraction) — it’s an antidote for the rising tribal nationalism overtaking the globe. In our hometown is where “those people” don’t look like the enemy, they look like us. Here is where we don’t have to wait for Washington, D.C. to fix it. And it’s possible that’s the way it ought to have been all along.