Understanding

…only works when you are actually on the same page…

“Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.”

~ John Adams, letter to J.H. Tiffany, 31 March 1819

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It’s almost like our political parties are from different countries. Or at least they pretend to be because they most certainly aren’t speaking the same language. Or maybe it’s that they’re misunderstanding one another because they aren’t on the same page, whether deliberately or not. Because it seems like nearly every issue facing them and our nation as a whole cannot possibly be resolved by any sort of compromise or meeting of the minds in the middle. Instead, we constantly descend into chaos every time anything is a problem because the parties are on polar extremes from one another and they just can’t understand why the other side is soooooo immoral, unethical, unfeeling, Etc etc.

Can America get a break? 90% of the major issues facing our government are not this fraught. Everything is not an all or nothing argument. Imagine if you tried to conduct your work or school or social life in this fashion! As if every last decision was either your way or another persons way and there was no other potential solution that might work for everyone. Choosing a location to go to dinner would turn into protracted disagreements where both sides intransigently chose to go hungry rather than choose between pizza and pasta. (And yes, even in governance sometimes it’s possible that we all go to the Italian place and get what we each want OR we compromise and go get subs because it’s really not THAT hard!) We can in fact both look for places to cut spending and reduce wastefulness in the government budget AND make sure we have properly funded programs to take care of those in our society who are struggling. Shockingly enough, by actually thinking about what our nation really needs and choosing only to find programs that are truly useful and productive, we could definitely still take care of what matters AND lower the overall budget. EVERYONE WINS! It just takes actual thought and real effort to conduct the business of governance in this manner. And maybe that’s what’s stopping everyone. Because heaven forbid we get down off the soap box for 5 seconds and get to work.

Res Publica

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