Invitation to our first TACKLE event!


Something NEW is coming to Louisville July 24th that we hope will begin to shape politics into a new, solutions-oriented path,  and YOU can be a part of it!

This new event  will be held on Tuesday July 24, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:15 PM at Creative Workshop 1205 E Washington St, #101, Louisville, KY and is called “TACKLE with TAC4 – Where we tackle the issues and not each other.”

Co-sponsors include the following:

  • TAC4 Solutions
  • Louisville Tea Party and Louisville Move On Council
  • Center for Non-Profit Excellence
  • VictoryPoll (

At the monthly event, two panelists with opposing views will engage in dialogue about a political topic.   Panelists for our first event will be:

  1. Keith Rouda, Regional Organizer for Kentucky,
  2. Larry Hausman, former Louisville Tea Party board member

The topic discussed by the panelists will be:   “Can we fix the national debt if we don’t fix the issue of money in politics?”

The audience will vote to determine a “winner” based on two criteria:  1) compelling arguments for their views and 2) adherence to the Seven Ground Rules for Political DiscourseTM:

  1. Show respect, assuming good motives
  2. Do not complain without offering solutions
  3. Blame the process, not the person
  4. Clarify opinion from fact
  5. Where there are moral philosophical differences, clarify without accusation and move on
  6. Outline realistic action steps for your views
  7. Hold yourself and others accountable to words and commitments with consequences

Each panelist will choose a non-partisan charity and all proceeds will be split between the two worthy causes (with the charity designated by the “winner” receiving a higher percentage).

The event is open to the first 80 registrants.  Cost is $8 if you pre-register here    Cost is $10 at the door.  Please print the confirmation page on the registration site and bring with you to the event as a “ticket” for entrance.

For additional information, please check our website, Facebook page, and blog.

 Feel free to send this to anyone who might be interested so we can get the word out!  If you are interested in helping out with this event, contact me at the number below.

 Thanks and hope that you register for the event on the 24th.  Let’s show Louisville that we CAN respect people who disagree with us on difficult issues and work TOGETHER to find good solutions.


T. Alan Claypool


TAC4 Solutions


Core team – coming together!

Well, I’ve hit the jackpot.  I’ve actually found several people (of wildly different political persuasions, I might add) that agree with my desire to see the return of intelligent and respectful political debates and they are willing to volunteer their time to see if this idea can generate an actual event.  We’ve come up with a concept whereby panelists will understand the Seven Ground Rules fully and agree to abide by them.   The audience will vote to declare a “winner” but the criteria will not only be the panelist’s power of persuasion, but whether or not they were successful in modeling the Ground Rules.    We will be selling tickets for a nominal fee and all proceeds will go to the charity of the winner of the debate.  We still have a lot of work to do to get the event going, but I am not alone.

Political Discourse – Ground Rules 6 & 7

The last 2 Ground Rules:

#6 – Outline reaslistc action steps for your views

  • Always close political discourse with personal actions to take

–         Do NOT suppress your concerns – SOLVE them

–         The Seven Ground Rules are NOT about being “positive”, “polite”, or getting along

–         The Seven Ground Rules are about finding solutions and taking action until our world is better

  • Not everyone’s actions will be the same

–         They may even be opposing

  • Do something about your complaints!

#7 – Hold yourself and others accountable to words and commitments with consequences

  • Be accountable for your own actions
  • Respectfully challenge others on your team when their actions violate the ground rules

–         Clarify exact ground rule being broken, without blame

–         Model how to improve

  • Give feedback humbly

–         Must be given with a full underlying acceptance of the person as a competent comrade with good intentions

  • Accept feedback graciously

I suppose if people actually saw politicians showing respect and taking responsibility for their actions, then the general public might be motivated to take action and hold themselves accountable.  But are there really enough people in the Louisville, KY area that would embrace this concept?  My fear is that people are too tied to either their opinion that they are right or their resistance to getting involved.   To be painfully honest, my fear is that I might be too tied to being right to openly embrace these principles.

Political Discourse – Ground Rules 3, 4, & 5

Now for Ground Rules 3 through 5:

#3 – Blame the process, not the person

  • Blaming makes people defensive and keeps them from joining your problem solving team
  • Blaming seemingly lets you off the hook from doing whatever is necessary to solve the problem
  • BE ACCOUNTABLE for your own efforts to solve the problem, even in the absence of others doing their part
  • Not blaming also involves considering the possibility that you do not have the absolute truth in the situation – what works for you may not work for them, and vice-versa

#4 – Clarify opinion from fact

  • Speak in researched facts as much as possible
  • No spreading false information as fact
    • Inaccurate information leads to bad solutions
  • When stating an opinion, announce it as an Opinion
  • Definitions
    • A fact: something that has actual existence
    • Objective reality
    • Example:
      • The words physically written in the Constitution – FACT
      • A specific idea being Constitutional – OPINION
    • Example:
      • The raw data from a survey – FACT
      • ANY interpretation of what the data means – OPINION

#5 – Where there are moral philosophical differences, clarify without accusation and move on

  • Political solutions are rooted in a world view, often regarding human nature and moral philosophy
  • Do not accuse of a lower moral standard
  • Do not assign a moral stance to another without their agreement
  • Clarify moral definitions
  • Admit and clarify where moral philosophies are different
  • Clearly relate future discussions to differences in that moral philosophy, without accusation of the moral code

Don’t blame others? State facts as objective information and don’t just read the surveys and sources I agree with? No judgment on morals? How would this work?

Political Discourse – Ground Rules 1 & 2

Okay, I modified the Nine Ground Rules for Cohesive Team BehaviorTM into something I think we could use for political discussions.  There are now Seven Ground Rules for Political DiscourseTM and here are the first two.

#1 – Show respect, assuming good motives

  • Assume that everyone’s motives are for the good of the nation / state / people
  • Never speak negatively behind someone’s back
  • No speculation of people’s motives
  • Apologize regularly, especially when crossing lines while fighting about issues
  • Forgive freely, realizing that we are all just working for the good of the team

#2 – Do not complain without offering solutions

  • The thing you are complaining about is the very problem that needs to be solved
  • Valuable time and energy could be spent solving problems
  • Every time you complain about someone or something, you cement the core cause of the problem instead of solving it

This seems awfully daunting.  What would compel people to start showing respect and quit complaining?

Broken Political System

Not sure about you, but I can barely stand to watch the news when the topic is politics.  Nobody listens for the sake of truly communicating but instead they throw accusations and twisted data to the wall, hoping something will stick to support their opinion.  Where are the objective facts?  They are outweighed by sound bites that oversimplify the issues and ring of rhetoric rather than reality. No wonder people are disillusioned.  As CEO of a consulting firm, we frequently give seminars on our methodology for building sustainable teams with something we call Nine Ground Rules for Cohesive Team BehaviorTM.  Every time I speak at the seminar I am reminded that I am committed to application of these principles in every area of my life…….except my reaction to politics.

Why is this so difficult for me?  As I began challenging myself on this issue, I started wondering what it would be like if we actually conducted political discussions with rational thoughts and respectful attitudes.  What would it take to get past the current broken political system and allow disengaged voters to become interested in the very important issues that define our nation? Is this possible and if so, is there something I can do to propel this idea into action?