Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 10:36:41


My goal is to get you interested, involved and thinking about our great nation, and to help find common ground in opposing points of view. We are blessed to live in a democratic republic. The value of this system of government lies in the fact that it seeks to answer sometimes thorny questions only after debate, argument and understanding of the available options. There is value in ensuring that people representing all points of view can participate in the process. If one person could satisfactorily resolve all matters by himself or herself, then dictatorships would work. They don’t.

If there is no debate, no interaction with those who disagree, then there is rarely an opportunity for reflection, learning and improvement.

If one side’s proponents cannot articulate why their proposed solution is better, then they need to learn how to communicate more effectively. It does not work to scream louder; that requires listening and seeking to reach common ground.

That also means that our system of government is inherently messier than others’. In a desire to make progress faster, easier or more controllable, opposing sides often attempt to lead through coercion, force, or an unwillingness to listen to others. The process, the means, is important in and of itself. With messy debate come widespread participation and trust in the system.

We need to listen carefully to people with whom we may disagree and then base our reactions not so much on our emotions as on a thoughtful analysis of what they are saying.