The Bridge Alliance met for the second consecutive year in Washington, D.C., last Monday. My radio show Politics Done Right participated in the event and also conducted more than 22 interviews with participants from progressive, conservative, and nonpartisan organizations. It is clear from many of the interviews that many organizations are trying to make sure, as former President Obama used to say, that the Republican “fever may break.”’
Just like most virus outbreaks eventually burn out, so will the current state of American politics. The problem is that what leads up to the burnout is a path of destruction, and some of it is irreversible.
More than 100 organizations of various ideologies attended the Bridge Alliance conference. This type of reunion can be risky for some of these organizations because of their supposed staunch adherence to a particular stance. To create a cocoon, or a safe space, anonymity was assured for those who wanted it. Ironically, by the end of the conference, it’s not certain how many, if any, wanted to abide by said protocol.
Every attendee was given the opportunity to provide interviews at the end of the conference. These interviews focused on what the attendees were doing in their political spaces, what they expected out of the conference, and whether it lived up to their expectations. It was clear based on various interviews on both sides of the polarized American body politic that the fever is indeed breaking.
This Bridge Alliance conference was intentional in many different areas. As one who has attended several progressive and trans-partisan conferences, the effort to make this conference reflect America was immediately evident when one walked into the room. This organization received sponsorships to assist young people and others who could not otherwise afford the lodging and travel, ensuring every voice could be heard. This is a necessary investment in our body politic if we are intent on understanding intersecting and disjointed problems.