My family attended a graduation party on Friday night. We have been friends with the hosts for 20 years. The party was wonderful- good friends, good food, good fun. The hosts are local business people. They are the kind of people that you want as next door neighbors. They coached little league games, and volunteer in the community. They are what I call “good people”. The time that we spend together, whenever we can get together, seems to go by in the blink of an eye.
I want to note that their political beliefs are much different than mine.
I have a lot of friends who sit on the other side of the political aisle from me. I know their beliefs because I speak to them, and I follow their FaceBook feeds. These are good and decent people, who do life-saving and life-changing work. When I say that they do “life-saving and life-changing work”, I mean that.
Can they really all be wrong, just because they disagree with me?
Nancy Reagan died in March of this year. After the funeral, a photo was taken of George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton at a reception. They were embracing each other, and smiling. You don’t see Republicans and Democrats doing that much anymore.
In January 2005, in response to the devastating tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, former President George H.W. Bush and former President Clinton worked together, at the request of President Obama, to raise money to aid tsunami victims. The work was not Republican work, or Democratic work. It was life-saving work. And the two former Presidents worked together to help save lives and rebuild nations.
When I was younger, I recall politicians working in a bipartisan manner. Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum worked together to get work done. It doesn’t seem like that happens much anymore. It seems to me that it is more important to make “the other side” wrong than it is to work with “the other side” to accomplish things.
When did we lose the ability to work with people that we don’t agree with? Have we completely lost the ability to work with each other? Charles Barkley once said “can we disagree without being disagreeable?”
I reserve the right to work with other people of all backgrounds and all beliefs. I may not agree with all of them about everything. But I want to maintain the ability to meet most of them halfway, so that we can accomplish things together.
I guess that excludes me from political service.