Sunday, August 14, 2016

The American Way

A favorite song says "when there's big problems to be solved, let's get everyone involved. God's counting on me. God's counting on you."
If we want to make our country better, we need to unite around efforts to involve everyone in problem solving. At all levels of our society, we need to encourage and facilitate involvement by the broadest population. That example needs to begin with our leadership - in Washington and in our state legislatures.
We need our leaders to say "we won't always agree but we will agree to work together to discover the best possible solutions." Viewing things from varied perspectives can be a good thing. If we learn to listen to one another and carefully examine facts, it can help us avoid pitfalls. It can help us create better solutions.
More often than not, even locally, our leaders have taken a position that is focused on poking someone in the eye if they have a differing perspective. Instead of examining facts and sharing pertinent information, our leaders turn their backs to one another. More important than finding solutions is assuring the other guy looks bad. The rising anger and polarization are creating a virtual civil war throughout this nation.
Instead of southern and northern states, now there are red and blue states. Many of our citizens are putting on uniforms with an elephant or a donkey and filling their hearts and minds with outright hatred of the opposing uniform. Communities are divided. Families are divided. Civilized discourse is gone.
If one side is loosing ground, the effort grows into attempts to silence the other side, block any progress, even shut down the government. Lost are efforts to actually solve problems. The focus is the war.
President Lincoln said "A house divided cannot stand." This nation will crumble under the weight of this division. We need to shed the uniforms and start focusing on a United States of America again embracing our full diversity and encouraging full participation for problem solving at all levels.

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