Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Purple America

The summer issue is just going out to subscribers and newsstands. It's called Superpower? Get Over It -- Time to Join the Community of Nations. I was surprised as we worked on it how many practical win-win ideas are readily available that would vastly improve our standing in the world, our economy, the sustainability of the natural world, in fact most aspects of life.

We'll post it later in the month, but you can get your own copy (which is really the best way to read YES! and to support YES!) here.

Meanwhile, here's a heads up on our fall issue, as described by managing editor Doug Pibel:

YES! Issue 47
Purple America

The United States didn't used to be a country starkly divided into blue people and red people whose political affiliations automatically marked them as disagreeing on everything. And it still isn't.

The "Red State/Blue State" idea fills the air, especially during campaign years. It's an easy, lazy way to categorize people, dramatize political races, and reinforce the notion that the United States is verging on a civil war. What it's not is connected to reality—and that's becoming increasingly clear as people on both sides of the red-blue divide cross over to express support, especially for Obama and McCain.

We've run "Signs of Life" on a couple of polls (Winter 2007, page 9; Fall 2007, page 9 and here ) that show what we all know, when we stop to think about it: The bitter disagreements are at the edges. They're about issues that get inflated in importance, that drive wedges between us. But on many issues, we all agree, regardless of political color.

In this issue of YES! we want to look at a purple U.S. What are the things we agree on? Where can we find common ground? What values lie below the issues that seem to divide, and do these deeper values sometimes point to possible ways forward? How can we reach out and break through the artificial divide that says we've got nothing to say to one another?

Surveys say that more than two-thirds of us want federally funded healthcare. Nearly 90 percent want more investment in renewable energy. More than three-quarters favor gender equality in the workplace.

In our "Purple America" issue, we want to showcase stories where people are acting on these common interests; where people are reaching out to their supposed polar opposites and finding that they can set aside their differences and work together to bring about the changes that a majority of us favor. We invite pitches for stories, contact information for potential story subjects, opinion poll results, and discussion aimed at refining this topic.

Send your ideas to submissions [a t] yesmagazine [ d o t] org

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