Politics
8:30 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Tea Party, MoveOn to Host Debate Over Coarsening Political Dialogue

The Louisville Tea Party and Kentucky MoveOn.org organizers are teaming up to discuss ways to find solutions on divisive political issues.

The two groups will host a debate Tuesday on issues including the national debt and campaign finance reform, with participants seeking to find common ground. It will feature former Republican congressional candidate Larry Hausman, who served on the local Tea Party board, and Kentucky MoveOn organizer Keith Rouda.

Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the two groups don’t agree on much, but the country’s political dialogue needs to improve.

"It doesn’t have to be all about screaming and getting angry, and you can disagree in a way that’s still very respectful to the other person. And you have a much better chance at coming up with some compromises and some solutions," she says.

In the past, Tea Party and MoveOn activists have clashed at rallies across the country that have led to violence in some instances. But political observers have pointed out that the two groups share a certain ideological populism and organizers of the Louisville debate agree there is some overlap that is worth exploring.

"We’ve got such crucial, critical, hard and serious issues to deal with that we can have lots of legitimate disagreements over as far as how the best way to solve them is," says Rouda. "But we seem to be losing the capacity to speak about them and debate them in a productive way."

The debate is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Creative Workshop (1205 E. Washington Street) in the Butchertown neighborhood.

The event costs $10, with proceeds going to the Healing Place and Gilda’s Club.

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