Friday, August 4, 2006

Keeping it in the Family?

When I was growing up, my mother was particular about us girls not airing the family's dirty laundry in public. (Not that there was any such laundry. See, I still hear my mother's voice.) "Keep it in the family" was a common phrase and meant that whatever disagreements we had, the neighbors did not need to know. As I got older and professionally trained as a family therapist, I learned that there is line between healthy privacy and dysfunctional secrecy: secrecy designed to hide things like abuse or addiction.

Why am I talking about this? Because, a political party is a little bit like a family and subject to similar problems. When does sunshine cleanse and heal, and when does it cause problems? Sometimes I think that if some of our dirty little secrets saw the light of day things would change. But that choice is not without cost. For example, at a local county meeting a member asked that adequate and public notice be given regarding all meetings. The chair replied, "Are you still planning to run for office?" A not-so-veiled threat. The currency of politics-favors, access, status, money-perpetuate a system where many are "in it" for what they can get out of it. That does not tend to promote an open process and makes it tough to grow local parties. So, at what point, is it appropriate to shine the spotlight on those who run closed, dysfunctional systems?

2 comments:

Ed Hula III said...

I agree with you a party does need to be open to debates.

Its just that as the big tent party, Dems can't seem to get anything out of such debates.

Ed Hula III said...

bc there are so many different points of views that we are all passionate about.