Car Salesmen are Better?
There’s nothing new in talking about the public’s sentiment toward how our elected officials are dealing with today’s challenges. A recent poll by YouGov reports the lowest approval ratings for Congress ever – only 6% of American’s approve of the work Congress is doing. And this blogger even makes the comparison that people have a better opinion of car salesmen than they do of Congress.
Look, there are lots of reasons for why Americans are unhappy with their elected officials. Some of it is around the Affordable Care Act. Some is due to the government shutdown from a couple of months ago. Others feel our Congress isn’t doing enough around immigration. The list of reasons are long.
But one thing is certain as it relates to the public’s opinion of our policymakers – they are tired of how every issue seemingly falls stagnant due to the inability of our leadership to work together to find common ground. They are tired of the incivility displayed by people who are supposed to work together for the common good of our nation – the inability to have healthy debate that yields an outcome. They don’t understand why compromise can’t be achieved.
An Actual Solution
There are advocacy groups out there talking about civil discourse in politics, meeting with politicians to make their case – which is great. But talking about civil discourse in politics is one thing. Actually teaching elected officials strategies to achieve civil discourse is something quite different. Which is why we are so proud to have partnered with our good friend Ted Celeste and the National Institute for Civil Discourse to help them promote their curriculum on civil discourse called Next Generation. Ted and his colleagues have worked hard to develop a workshop that helps political leaders appreciate their differences, and commit to doing better at working toward compromise. This team has actually created a productive means toward dealing with civility in politics. And we are honored to have created this promotional piece so they can help bring their program to every state:
If you are interested in getting your state’s elected officials to make civil discourse a priority, please contact the NICD. They can help bring the Next Generation workshop to your state.
About the NICD
NICD works to move the needle on incivility and political dysfunction in order to strengthen our democratic traditions.
Mission: Established in February 2011 at The University of Arizona, the National Institute for Civil Discourse integrates research and practice to support and enable:
- a congress and executive branch capable of working to solve the big issues facing our country;
- a public demand for civil discourse and a government that works in the best interests of the country as a whole; and
- media that informs and engages citizens.
About Ted Celeste
Former State Representative Ted Celeste has been contracted part-time to lead Next Generation, a project of the National Institute for Civil Discourse in partnership with the Council of State Governments. His goal is to inspire and support state legislators who want to promote greater understanding and better decision-making. As part of a bi-partisan team, Celeste has facilitated training for the CSG Midwest Regional Conference and the Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Nebraska Legislatures. He has also presented at the CSG BILLD leadership program in Madison, and the National CSG annual meeting in Kansas City.
Celeste served in the Ohio Legislature from 2007-2012. Known for working effectively “across the aisle” whether he was in the majority or the minority, he has lived his belief in respectful dialogue. One of the only candidates for state office who insisted on running a positive campaign, he won each of his 3 races with a comfortable majority in a swing district. He was recognized for his emphasis on civil dialogue with the John Glenn Public Policy Institute’s Outstanding Public Service Award in 2011. Celeste lives in Columbus, Ohio, is married and has two daughters and 3 grandchildren.