Transpartisan Defined


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Transpartisanship represents an emerging field in political thought distinct from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between “right” and “left,” resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether. Rather, transpartisanship acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond typical political dualities.

In practice, transpartisan solutions emerge out of a new kind of public conversation that moves beyond polarization by applying proven methods of facilitated dialogue, deliberation and conflict resolution. In this way it is possible to achieve the ideal of a democratic republic by integrating the values of a democracy—freedom, equality, and a regard for the common good, with the values of a republic—order, responsibility and security.

Current examples of transpartisan initiatives include Transpartisan Alliance, Liberty Coalition.

  • Transpartisanship is an emerging field that advocates pragmatic and effective solutions to social and political problems, transcending and including preexisting political ideologies. Transpartisanship encompasses the idea that all systems are inextricably interconnected, and that successful outcomes can best be reached through inclusive, genuine, and respectful cooperation. Transpartisan democracy, in part, seeks to reintegrate the public’s voice in identifying, debating, and shaping governmental policies, while continuing to protect the sovereignty of the individual.

  • The term “Transpartisanship” has emerged to provide a meaningful alternative to “Bipartisanship,” and “Nonpartisanship.” Bipartisanship limits the dialogue process to two political viewpoints or entities, striving for compromise solutions. Nonpartisanship, on the other hand, tends to deny the existence of differing viewpoints in exchange for cooperation. Both the bipartisan and nonpartisan approaches can discount the multiplicity of viewpoints that exist, which often results in incomplete and therefore unsuccessful outcomes. In contrast to these, transpartisanship recognizes the existence and validity of many points of view, and advocates a constructive dialogue aimed at arriving at creative, integrated, and therefore, breakthrough solutions that meet the needs of all present.

A close relative of transpartisanship is Integral politics. A transpartisan approach to policy would necessarily include individual and collective, as well as subjective and objective, perspective. Furthermore, similar to Integral theory, transpartisanship places politics in a developmental context, viewing democracy and prosperity not as static attainments, but rather emergent properties along a continuum of developmental stages.

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Joseph McCormick and Michael Ostrolenk are both leaders in the emerging field of Transpartisanship.

Joseph McCormick
After a decade as a Christian Coalition activist and Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress in one of the most conservative districts in our country, Joseph learned firsthand the most destructive force in our country today is Americans taking sides against other Americans. The turning point in his life came in 2001 when his political career, marriage, business and reputation collapsed, his relationships having been eroded by mistrust and hatred of his enemies. Since 2004 he has organized a series of ground breaking private retreats brining over 140 national leaders representing over 70 million Americans into dialogue in search of common ground. His passion is applying tools developed in these gatherings to catalyzing a national campaign of transpartisan dialogues that serve as a resource for local, state and national decision makers searching for innovative, bottom-up solutions in this time of crisis.
Email: Web:

Michael Ostrolenk
is a licensed psychotherapist (CA) and founder and national coordinator for the Medical Privacy Coalition (2001-present). He is co-founder and National Director of the Liberty Coalition, a transpartisan coalition of groups working to protect civil liberties, privacy and human autonomy (2005- present), and co-founder and President of the American Conservative Defense Alliance, which works to promote a traditional conservative foreign and defense policy (2008- present). He is a registered Personal Protection Specialist and Private Investigator in the Virginia, and a public policy consultant who works on health, education, privacy and national security related issues. Michael is Vice President for Coalitions for Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty and sits on the Steering Committee for
Email: Web:

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