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Why the Bridge Alliance is taking charge of The Fulcrum

Bridging the divide

The Fulcrum will help the Bridge Alliance bridge the divide that separates us, writes Nevins.

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Nevins is co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 90 organizations promoting core goals of the democracy reform movement: fairer and more accessible elections, reduced influence of money in politics, enhanced civic engagement, bolstered government transparency and more effective governance "with a country-before-party mindset."

I am excited about the opportunity for the Bridge Alliance, through its public communications arm the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, to become the new publisher of The Fulcrum as it grows and builds upon the successes of its first 29 months.

The work of our more than 90 member organizations is gaining traction. It is obvious to millions of Americans that something is wrong and we must fix our country's social and political system — by bridging the many divides that separate us.

We must harness the tension of our differences in order to strengthen our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — balancing individual and community needs. For more than two years The Fulcrum has played an important role in doing so. We envision growing the existing digital platform to be more interactive, engaging and innovative — in order to empower Americans of all stripes in our movement. Our aim is to create a democracy that puts We the People first.

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The task will not be easy. To succeed we must find the balance between maintaining impeccable journalistic standards and, at the same time, offering to magnify the voices of all Americans yearning for a healthier governing system: young people, people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, rural and urban dwellers, conservatives and progressives.

The Fulcrum will channel all these voices seeking a better democracy as we talk respectfully among ourselves.

We know how much citizens are yearning for more involvement and deeper connection with one another. The democratic reform community must reach all people who are advocating for particular fixes for the system, then connect them with the organizations pushing to make those changes a reality.

This is the new aspiration of The Fulcrum. We will enact a marketing strategy to reach people where they are and help them connect to the reforming democracy movement as a way to reach their own goals.

I have a deep faith in the power of regular American citizens to make a difference. Indeed, every advancement in our society has been led by the people. The Fulcrum's platform can engage, and will involve, citizens of all stripes. We can and must welcome all Americans — from across the political spectrum and the social spectrum — who see our differences as a strength.

Americans have a genuine sense of an authentic interest, affiliation and affection for this great nation. Our unwavering confidence in the country's future must be restored as we recognize and address the profound challenges we face.

Through The Fulcrum, we will continue our commitment to help citizens find their own path forward — one that reflects their own values and priorities, not the publisher's political agenda or anyone else's.

As a voice for democracy, The Fulcrum will be empowering, action-oriented, pragmatic, inclusive, trustworthy, innovative, positive, appreciative and respectful to all as we work together to achieve the goal of a more perfect union, a country where "E pluribus unum" (Out of many, one) is a reality.

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Podcast: Why conspiracy theories thrive in both democracies and autocracies

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There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.

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Our question about the price of freedom received a light response. We asked:

What price have you, your friends or your family paid for the freedom we enjoy? And what price would you willingly pay?

It was a question born out of the horror of images from Ukraine. We hope that the news about the Jan. 6 commission and Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination was so riveting that this question was overlooked. We considered another possibility that the images were so traumatic, that our readers didn’t want to consider the question for themselves. We saw the price Ukrainians paid.

One response came from a veteran who noted that being willing to pay the ultimate price for one’s country and surviving was a gift that was repaid over and over throughout his life. “I know exactly what it is like to accept that you are a dead man,” he said. What most closely mirrored my own experience was a respondent who noted her lack of payment in blood, sweat or tears, yet chose to volunteer in helping others exercise their freedom.

Personally, my price includes service to our nation, too. The price I paid was the loss of my former life, which included a husband, a home and a seemingly secure job to enter the political fray with a message of partisan healing and hope for the future. This work isn’t risking my life, but it’s the price I’ve paid.

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Given the earnest question we asked, and the meager responses, I am also left wondering if we think at all about the price of freedom? Or have we all become so entitled to our freedom that we fail to defend freedom for others? Or was the question poorly timed?

I read another respondent’s words as an indicator of his pacifism. And another veteran who simply stated his years of service. And that was it. Four responses to a question that lives in my heart every day. We look forward to hearing Your Take on other topics. Feel free to share questions to which you’d like to respond.

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