Convention

About 300 people are expected to attend the first-ever national Coffee Party convention this weekend in Louisville. The convention’s organizers say the event is, in part, a call for rationality.

The Coffee Party began with a Facebook post in January. The group is a response to the Tea Party, which the Coffee Party’s founders saw as too deeply based in fear, anger and extreme political tactics.

“I’m not here to say I’m against extreme points of view; it’s a free country,” says co-founder Eric Byler. “But I am uncomfortable with extreme political tactics that are designed to intimidate and silence the majority of citizens.”

The Coffee Party has taken stances on political policies, but Byler says the group is nonpartisan. Those endorsements, he says, came after rational discussion across various chapters of the party.

“It takes more work,” he says. “It really does. It takes discipline to look at an issue not through the prism of a political party or a news entertainment program, but through your own intelligence.”

The convention is Friday through Sunday at the Galt House. It will feature panel discussions with writers, professors and members of both major political parties and the Tea Party Express.

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