Civic Wisdom from a Couple
of Cool Caterpillars
Imagining at least “six impossible things before breakfast”
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | Dinner at the Square
civic wisdom from a couple
cool caterpillars



When you’re doing something as crazy as trying to cross the partisan divide, you meet some interesting fellow travelers along the way. Here’s where we bring one of them to you and we hang out. Hookahs strictly optional.

As we end this year’s journey through the looking glass, we’ll introduce you to Peter Wehner who’s been thinking BIG “drink me” thoughts and imagining at least “six impossible things before breakfast” about just how one can turn a trip down a rabbit hole into enduring wisdom and a stronger democracy. Pete has been offering up this uncanny civic wisdom for a very long time now, since eons before most of us perceived that there was a problem at all. At the Village Square we’ve been inspired by his writing (including a regular column in the New York Times) since almost the beginning of our journey a decade ago. So it’s a big day for us. Read on for a bit about Pete. (Find pictures of the event here.)



Pete has written for numerous publications—including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Affairs, Christianity Today and Time magazine. He has appeared as a commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN television and appears frequently on national talk radio programs. In 2011 Forbes magazine featured Mr. Wehner on a short list of conservatism’s leading “educators and practitioners of first principles.”

Mr. Wehner served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speechwriting and a senior advisory for President George W. Bush. He was also a senior adviser to the Romney-Ryan 2012 presidential campaign.

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear already, here’s another reason why we’ve invited Pete – even when it’s been agonizing (and plain weird), American democracy has an incredible capacity to course correct when citizens roll up our sleeves to get it done. We think Pete’s been dropping breadcrumbs for us to follow for years now. Who better than our special guest facilitator (former Jeb Bush Chief of Staff) Sally Bradshaw to guide us through our evening, and learn from Pete what the evolution of “we the people” looks like from atop his wise-caterpillar toadstool.

As we end our dystopian Dinner at the Square season theme, for the sake of accountability we’ll restate what our ultimate goal for the year was: To possibly achieve just a little more old fashioned boredom on our next political outing. We suspect our goal might have eluded us, but we know talking to Pete will help.



Peter Wehner | Senior Fellow
Ethics & Public Policy Center
Sally Bradshaw, Our facilitator
Former Chief of Staff, Governor Jeb Bush
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