Usually the listener will follow up with “That is SO true.”
And everyone has a good chuckle.
We just went through the midterm elections. Republicans are glowing in their historic wins. Democrats are saving face by focusing on how many republican seats are up for reelection in two years.
The truth is that whether you are a republican, democrat, independent, libertarian, or authoritarian what happened this week affects us all.
I watched commentary the night of, as well as the morning after, the election. For the first few hours there was hopeful reporting of the strong possibility of both sides coming together on common ground and starting to get back to work.
But it didn’t take long for the posturing and power mongering to start back up again. At least according to the press.
“The republicans look forward to having the White House working with them in compromise.”
“No, the White House is looking forward to having the republicans working with it in compromise.”
I find it laughable that such a small distinction in what would appear to be the same statement matters so much in the political world.
But nobody is chuckling.
The week leading up to the election as well as a few days after, interview after interview of actual Americans expressed the same desire:
“We want both sides to come together and compromise and get the work done to get the nation moving again.”
Come to the table and first find the things you already agree on. Pass the legislation and get it out of the way.
Come back to the table and identify the differences on specific issues. Both sides will give up some things and meet in the middle. Pass the legislation and move on.
Perhaps that is the problem.
It would seem that very few are willing to give up anything. And if they are, the extremes of their party quickly vilify them, insisting that they are not true republicans, or true democrats.
Wait, don’t we each get to have our own position on issues? To limit the options as seeing things only from two distinct vantage points would be incredibly discriminatory to the majority of the nation.
But to the extremes, to give in at all would be seen as weak. It would be seen as not being true to their principles. It would not create the ideal rules and regulations for their specific subgroup of the American citizenry.
Somehow we forget that it is just that, a SUBGROUP – not the whole, not the nation, not inclusive of everyone.
There is no way to pass laws that will make everyone happy. There will always be some subgroup, somewhere, that is very unhappy.
Accept it and move on.
I’ve heard it said that we know we’ve reached a good, solid compromise when everyone leaves the table dissatisfied.
They’ve given up things they wanted and accepted things the opposition wants.
When we function that way, we can still have democrats, republicans, and everything in between.
People demanding things to be “my way or the highway” will ALWAYS be disappointed and not able to get things done. And people won’t respect them enough to even listen, let alone work together.
Everyone deserves to be listened to and given respect. Those who have learned this truth actually earn the respect of the majority, regardless of what side they are on.
Well, actually, we live in a republic where we have the responsibility to elect good, ethical, moral, and yes, even humble people who will go back and learn about issues and do what they understand to be in the best interest of the country.
Even if it is unpopular.
So, I wonder if when everyone walks away from the table a little unhappy, it creates the best way for all of us to collectively be happy.
First of all, don’t think for a second that BOTH sides aren’t looking at the other and calling their principles evil.
Second of all, I wonder if we are confusing our politics with our religion. In religion there is simply right and wrong. Truth is truth and God doesn’t need us to debate and compromise and renegotiate the tenets of the gospel.
But in politics there are many subgroups making up the whole, even if only 1/3 of the nation bothered to vote last Tuesday.
And, like it or not, each subgroup’s positions need to be considered, each group’s ideals respected.
Instead of complaining, doubting, obstructing, predicting failure, and finding fault in the semantics of every statement, what if we prayed in faith for the solutions and direction that God knows to be best?
The same God, who didn’t give us a debatable doctrine, did inspire our forefathers in establishing the rule of law in this, the greatest country on earth. They researched, debated, and most importantly, listened.
And they probably all left the table a little unsatisfied.
But what they did do was come to the table again and again to have the discussion and find solutions. Then they all left the table, together, after doing what they felt best for the country at large.
The elections and campaigning and jostling for positions are done. Now it’s time to unite and get to the table and find solutions.