Intentionally Dysfunctional

Intentionally Dysfunctional

Part 1: The problem in politics, the solution, and our creative challenge.

American politics is too often intentionally dysfunctional. Perhaps a declaration such as this sounds both jarring and obvious at the same time. But each of us who has worked in a professional role in American politics knows that we have at times found a sense of significance in holding power, an illusion of comfort in following the right ideology, and a sense of security in our “us vs. them” narratives. We have used fear, anger, envy, and ridicule to drive electoral results and sway opinion regarding legislation.

While I have many good memories of working successfully with colleagues in campaigns, grassroots organizing, and Congress, we also cannot deny the reality of this cycle of dysfunction and its results, which most notably includes congressional approval ratings at or below 28% for ten years.

Partisanship deprives us of the opportunity to work together creatively to solve problems—and we can see the disillusionment in each other’s eyes. But reaching a point of disillusion, at times we find a new spark of energy in the next election cycle, the next promising presidential candidate, the next promotion, the next policy brief that expands our knowledge. And so the cycle continues; too often we celebrate the ways we make politics dysfunctional at leadership trainings and conventions.

All of us have in some capacity been part of the problem. And that’s good news, because it means all of us are part of the solution.

The solution Liberatus offers is to remake politics from the ground up by giving professionals on the inside a creative home to explore wholeness. It’s not a political agenda; it’s art. It’s not a call for a mass movement; it’s community. And it’s not a party platform; it’s a creative home to explore the peace of Christ.

Our immediate creative challenge is to compile a work of art in the form of a print journal that is worth an annual donation of roughly $90 to more than one thousand people. We envision an annual volume of 200 pages or more, printed on thick matte paper with compelling stories and beautiful photography. Throughout the year, we plan to send a set of three collectible post cards to each of our annual backers, coordinate community meetups where we have Liberatus Ambassadors, and when we reach 3,000 backers and are able to hire full time staff members, we hope to publish twice a year.

This challenge is to offer a work of art—politically focused and rooted in the peace of Christ—that all of us will instinctively want to pick up and read in the evenings after a work day, or as we sit next to an open, sunny window with a kombucha on a Sunday afternoon, or display on our coffee tables to share in conversation with our guests. We hope that the print journal will not only be worth a $90 annual donation but also become a way for our fellow citizens to join us as we work with political professionals to remake politics from the ground up.

Beyond creating a work of art, our path forward is to reveal the inner stillness that’s possible when we know we are children of a loving God.


Make a pledge to back the Kickstarter for Volume One.

Liberatus is a community journal about wholeness in politics, because all of us are tired of dysfunction. Writers who join us are advocates for how the peace of Christ can remake politics from the ground up.

Journal Entry #112