About Purple Ground

A Citizen’s Blog

Purple Ground is based on the idea that “red” and “blue” Americans who love their country can find common ground on principles.

  • We love America
  • We know that Freedom is not free and we honor our troops
  • We do take responsibility for our own lives
  • We honestly care about those in need and do not want to abandon those who cannot help themselves
  • We do not want a nanny state for those who will not help themselves.
  • We agree that Americans have a personal responsibility to help others in need and “be our brother’s keeper”
  • We believe that people are better served by a hand up than a hand out (teach a man to fish…)
  • We believe that we must be vigilant in defending America and our freedoms against those who would do us harm
  • We believe that war should always be the second to last choice, only coming before putting our lives or our country in grave danger
  • We believe that we must come up with an immigration strategy that secures our border, treats all huamn beings with dignity and respect, and considers the best interests of America first
  • We believe that our current immigration apprach does not do right by citizens,  legal immigrants those who come here illegally.
  • We believe in personal liberty, over our body, our mind, our speech, the fruits of our labor, our property, our family and parenting, and our speech
  • We believe that all America’s laws apply to all its citizens equally and the law is blind to race, class, connections, and political status
  • We believe that our government serves the citizens, not the other way around
  • We believe that it is the duty of the federal government to protect American citizens’ right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
  • We believe that Americans are generally good, hard-working, generous people
  • We believe local government governs best because not all towns, communities and cities have the same needs and challenges. And that the most power in government should reside with those closest to the people who are represented: local, then state, then federal, not the other way around.
  • We believe that we have a personal and corporate responsibility not to trash our planet
  • In God we trust

These principles are not Democrat or Republican. They are American. We disagree on the details, and there are differences in how we substantiate these ideals. First, we need to remember that most of us agree on so many values, we just need to start having straightforward discussions on the embodiment of them. Our Founders themselves disagreed amongst themselves, often passionately, sometimes vehemently. But they worked it out for the greater good of the country. They put their personal egos aside, had an honest debate, and reached consensus.

There are plenty of bloggers out there lambasting the other side.  The more time you spend on the internet the more you see there is way to much vile nastiness out there, on both sides. This forum will attempt to engage in debate, not diatribe. This forum will assume that you and I are not Nazis, racists, communists, Marxists, stupid, brainwashed, or un-American.

A friend and colleague of mine, Chris Perez, will also be writing for Purple Ground. Chris is more bluish-purple and I am more redish-purple. We will see where we can find common ground and hold each other’s thoughts up to the cleanzing fire of honest debate and discussion.

For that discussion to be the most fruitful, we want readers to participate in the dialog, always in the courteous, respectful manner that you would talk to a friend. I love feedback and I encourage comments. Before you submit a comment, ask yourself, are you speaking the way you would to a friend that disagrees with you? I will moderate comments in a way that treats us all as friends.

The partisanship today threatens to divide and conquer us. I believe that is not who Americans are. We can be better. Sincere people can agree on core American values and discuss and even disagree on how to live those principles. Let’s reaffirm those ideals that we all agree upon and start from there.

I am leaving a space for comments on this page. If you think there is anything on the above list that is not common or “purple ground” with you, let me know why. I am sure there are things that I am missing too, and I welcome suggestions. The list can grow.

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4 Responses to About Purple Ground

  1. Jay says:

    Hey Jamie,
    We met at Disneyland. Nice website, I read a few of your blogs.

  2. Roger Jeffries says:

    When I first heard about Purple Ground a few months ago, I thought, what a great idea. A forum for meaningful dialog between the two major political parties’ points of view to hopefully arrive at useful compromise. I’m sad to say that I haven’t been able to come with anything that remotely resembles common or Purple Ground.
    Consider:
    ****Congress holds hearings to try to figure out why major oil companies, while making huge profits, continue to try to justify their tax breaks, along with their Republican friends in Congress. Oil Company executives even threaten citizens with higher gas prices if the tax breaks are removed, while some economists think it is high gas prices that is derailing our fragile economic recovery.

    ****While ripping off consumers at the gas pumps, oil companies, to save their image, run TV ads telling us what good invironmentalists they are, instead of being good invironmentalists by searching for alternative energy sources.

    ****Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell, threaten to not allow the debt ceiling to be raised unless huge buget cuts are made, with no mention of the wealthiest Americans continuing to get tax breaks, some of which would be happy to pay more, or at least their fair share to a system which gave them the opportunity to create their wealth.

    ****Most Republicans in Congress and some in corporate America fail to understand that we are all on the same financial ship, and if it sinks, we’ll all be swimming.

    • When I first heard about Purple Ground a few months ago, I thought, what a great idea. A forum for meaningful dialog between the two major political parties’ points of view to hopefully arrive at useful compromise. I’m sad to say that I haven’t been able to come with anything that remotely resembles common or Purple Ground.
      —– Finding the Purple Ground isn’t always easy. Conservatives and Liberals often have different guiding philosophies. This blog is based on the idea that if you dig deeper, we do share many values. So we have to start by focusing on that and then having honest dialog, rather than name calling and political demagoguery .
      Consider:
      ****Congress holds hearings to try to figure out why major oil companies, while making huge profits, continue to try to justify their tax breaks, along with their Republican friends in Congress. Oil Company executives even threaten citizens with higher gas prices if the tax breaks are removed, while some economists think it is high gas prices that is derailing our fragile economic recovery.
      —– Gas prices are certainly having a big negative effect on the economy. Higher gas prices raise costs on almost everything. Oil company profits are one small part of the cost though. There are many factors affecting the cost of oil (mid east unrest, reduced domestic supply, costs of refining, speculation, and loss of value of the dollar, increased emerging market demand). Just so you know, I don’t believe in government subsidies for oil companies or any other companies for that matter. And it bothers me that politically connected companies get tax breaks based on the tax laws that they lobby for. That’s crony capitalism. See the recent WSJ article on 12 big companies that paid little to no taxes. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/06/01/study-finds-some-big-companies-paid-little-in-taxes/?mod=google_news_blog . The list includes companies like Exxon Mobile and also companies like GE and Verizon. Let’s look at the systematic problem caused by crony capitalism and the power of lobbying on tax code.

      ****While ripping off consumers at the gas pumps, oil companies, to save their image, run TV ads telling us what good invironmentalists they are, instead of being good invironmentalists by searching for alternative energy sources.
      —– Are you suggesting price controls? I don’t know how effective or focused energy companies are being with their alternative energy research, but Americans want affordable, workable alternatives to oil, so I believe we will get there, we just are not quite there yet, but we are making progress.

      ****Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell, threaten to not allow the debt ceiling to be raised unless huge buget cuts are made, with no mention of the wealthiest Americans continuing to get tax breaks, some of which would be happy to pay more, or at least their fair share to a system which gave them the opportunity to create their wealth.
      —– I think that one area where conservatives and liberals usually differ is with taxes. What is the highest percentage that the government should take from someone’s income? 40%? 50%? I believe that 62% rate proposed by Democrats is ethically wrong. In my opinion, the government has no right to take that much of a person’s hard-earned income. Especially since high earners are the ones creating jobs, innovating and taking risks. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304066504576343611464445594.html
      But you may disagree and think that is “paying their fair share”
      The US Tax system is already highly progressive, with the top 10% of income earners paying 71% of federal income taxes.
      If some people want to pay more as you suggest, they can do that. You are allowed to pay more than you owe with a donation to the Treasury. Of course, if it were me, I would give that money to private charities that are better at serving the needy than government bureaucracy. But that’s a personal decision.

      ****Most Republicans in Congress and some in corporate America fail to understand that we are all on the same financial ship, and if it sinks, we’ll all be swimming.
      —- I don’t know how you can claim to know that that most Republican’s don’t understand that we are all in this together. Obviously we are all in this together and any earnest person can see that. Be careful not to claim that you know how the other side thinks, feels or what they do and don’t understand. Earnest people can come to different conclusions about what needs to be done, even when they start out with the same honest desire to do what’s best for the country.

  3. Rob says:

    To Roger….

    I sense the disdain in your post. Im sorry you are not better informed. Perhaps I can help with your first two points….

    FACT: The largest investment in renewable energy, anywhere in the world, is happening within the “Big Oil” companies.
    FACT: “Big Oil” (Defined as: ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips) have moved renewable energy technology decades into the future and spend billions a year on research and development. All of the oil majors have R&D groups that develop wind, solar, bio, and shale fuels among a host of others.
    FACT: The worldwide holdings of oil reserves as owned by large independant oil companies and gubment owned companies (Venezuela, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia etc) has INCREASED over the past 10 years. We are not running out of oil.
    FACT: Oil companies DO NOT SET THE PRICE OF OIL. The world market does. Sorry, but that is a fact. Oil producing companies and countries can control production (As OPEC has done many many times in the past) but it does not benefit any oil major to withhold production.
    FACT: US Government tax on a gallon of gas is 18.4 cents per gallon. States like Conn. NY. and Cali have state taxes of over 49 cents a gallon (Thats over 67 cents per gallon!!). ExxonMobil in 2010, profited only 2 cents (thats two!) per gallon of finished product (Gas, Diesel, etc). Can you name another manufactured commodity anywhere where the profits are less per unit than that? How does it make sense that a government would profit more from a sale of a product than the person or company that produces it?

    OPINION:
    I agree that ALL subsidies should be removed. Because that would loosen the government controls. Companies would no longer have to pander to the politicians and be in bondage to them. Less government control allows more control for people like me…a shareholder of many large oil companies…(you too, if you have any type of mutual fund or 401K). And as an investor, I want a return on my investment. I want larger profits, larger margins, larger markets, and lower regulation. And I am no different than any other investor…not even you.

    Hope this helps bring a more clear perspective. As for your third and fourth points….well, I think you are a little wacko.

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