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Divorce mediator's guide to ease Congressional gridlock

Divorce mediator Carol Bailey has compared the Congressional gridlock to a broken marriage and offered her solutions.
January 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
When married couples can't get along, sometimes couples therapy can help them see the other person's point of view.

Could that same principal be applied to Republicans and Democrats in Congress? One long-time mediator is trying to show that it can.

In 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer", a son is stuck in the middle between his two fighting parents.

Long-time divorce mediator Carol Bailey told Eyewitness News via Skype that Congress is putting all of us in a similar situation.

"Congress is like, they're like the parents and the American people are like the family, like the children, and they're not doing their job right now," said Carol. "Just because you're not happy with each other doesn't mean you just totally neglect your family and that's what's happening in Congress right now. They're neglecting the American people, which is their family."

Carol put together a pamphlet of the 10 most important things she's learned over the years. The pamphlet is titled "Easing Congressional Gridlock: A Divorce Mediator's Guide for the union that can't dissolve." She traveled to Washington D.C. on her own dime to hand deliver it.

She met Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, U.S. Democratic Representative Jim McDermott and U.S. Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden even invited Carol and her husband, Steve, to the White House.

In all, they handed out pamphlets to all 535 members of Congress.

"They all have said yes, working across the aisle in a more productive way is a great thing to do, so I really have to say all of them have been interested in it," said Carol.

Her tips include avoiding negative accusations and to compromise, the views of all sides must be legitimized.

"Rigid principles obstruct problem solving. If this is too subtle for you then you probably shouldn't be running our country," said Carol. "You have to demonstrate that you honor the right of other people to have a different opinion from yours. You have to!"

Carol believes a little family therapy might be exactly what Congress needs.

"If one person reads it and one person remembers the tips that I've offered, it could make a huge difference," said Carol.

To read the entire guidebook of strategies, visit www.easingcongressionalgridlock.com.


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