An old high school buddy and I, recently re-united via Facebook, find ourselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum. He’s left of center, and I’m pretty far to the right. Naturally, the topic of health care is a point of disagreement, and we are participating in an ongoing debate. Fortunately, our good manners, the depth of our friendship, and a mutual desire for truth have kept our discussion civil and, I believe, quite productive. I don’t think either of us is likely to fundamentally change our positions, but hopefully both of us will come away with a better understanding of BOTH sides of the issue. In the words of Dennis Prager, “I prefer clarity to agreement”.
What’s cool is that in high school, we didn’t think about anything but cars, trucks, music, and girls. Now, 25 years later, we still like cars and music, but have become responsible citizens with families, houses, and jobs. We read books besides Road & Track, and take an interest in world affairs and political issues.
My point is this: Amid all the name-calling, yelling, and anger we see in the world of politics, Shep and I have agreed to look for common ground and understanding. It’s easy to call someone an idiot if you don’t know them. Perhaps if we try to building relationships with people instead of painting them blue or red, Americans might have a more productive debate on important issues. We should all be passionate about what we believe, but let’s talk to one another.