Let's Have a Talk Across the Aisle
"These are the times that try men's souls" Thomas Paine, 1776.
If my soul does indeed exist – and that has been questioned by some – it sure has been tried over the last decade.
I was a middle-of-the-road moderate on the vast majority of issues ten years ago. Except for relating to the environment, I did throw a few monkey wrenches back in the day. Same with the Second Amendment; I like my firearms. I’m not exactly sure what date the line moved, but I know it did. Now I found myself not just leaning left, I've completely shifted there in most people's eyes.
Not far enough in that direction for others though.
These are trying times. In today's atmosphere, we have to choose sides on everything. There is no middle ground; that bridge was destroyed by extremists long ago. The foundations are still there, but no one wants to be the first person to realize the fault and work on rebuilding. It seems that compromise is seen as a weakness by some.
Reach across the aisle, and you may come back with a bloody stump.
Us v. Them is the new normal. Don't wear Nike, no Chick-fil-A for you. Bake a cake, don't bake a cake. We can’t agree on anything and will argue over everything. Sometimes to the point of violence. You are either for us or against us, choose wisely. This is what we have become as a nation. Divided, standing toe to toe with shields and wearing helmets or SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER IN ALL CAPS online.
There is where the problem lies. We fight over every issue, but no one wants to sit down and actually address the problem. Why is that? What happened to the great compromises of the past? Why won't our leaders in Congress fix what is broken?
There has been talk lately of changing some things in the Constitution. I agree. I cannot say how it would work, people that know more about constitutional law than me could easily figure it out I'm sure. A simple Amendment maybe.
"No person shall serve as a member of Congress for more than twenty years".
Many people in the country agree on an Amendment with words to that effect.
When was the last time a percentage of people this large agreed on any political issue important to all citizens? Of course, we know that will never happen. No self-respecting member of Congress would vote against their own interests. It would take a Constitutional Convention, and what a headache that would be. Still, it is a place to start discussions on something we can agree on.
They have over-the-counter medications for those headaches. Surely one of them is not on any boycott list. Let's sit down and talk.
If you want change, this is how it happens. Conservatives and liberals need to sit down with a conciliatory attitude and truly want to fix what is broken. That is going to take laying all their cards on the table, nothing up the sleeve to pull out late in the game. What do you want and what are you willing to give up in order to have that? Here is what I want and what I will give up. It really is that simple.
The question is, with a new Congress who are going to be the ones that step up and reach out from both sides? They are out there, people on the Left and Right willing to work together but will they? I hope so. The country needs it.