I don’t know your politics, and you don’t know mine.
Maybe you don’t even want to talk about politics!
Well, I’m not going to be taking a side.
You won’t have to listen to a partisan rant.
Aren’t we all a little tired of that?
Even of the rants from our own side?
Our country is deeply divided,
and we know that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
We have a right wing and a left wing,
and each side sees the other side not as an opponent,
but as an enemy.
This is a recipe for disaster.
I believe all of us who truly love our country
need to find ways to begin bringing our two sides closer together.
Are you willing to take the first few steps?
Let’s DO this!
I’ve looked at life from both sides
I spent half my life on each side of the aisle.
On each side, I believed I was correct.
Found out, over and over, that I wasn’t.
Had to pick crow feathers out of my teeth
so often I didn’t need floss.
But it was good for me.
I listened and I learned.
I learned there are loving patriots on both sides
–though we rarely think the other side has any!
I learned that the two sides have different priorities.
Different principles are at work in their thinking.
I saw that if you accept those priorities and those principles,
their policies make sense.
Being in one party, then being in the other,
is like putting on two different pairs of glasses.
The world seen through THIS pair looks like THIS.
The world seen through THAT pair looks like THAT.
The problem is:
Each side thinks their own pair of glasses allows them to see everything.
I assure you, my friend, it does not.
Both sides are blind in some areas.
And both sides see things the other side does not.
This is why we need to create genuine dialogue.
Let’s build a center
Right now the two ends of our political spectrum are pulling us apart.
We are so divided, we can’t accomplish anything.
What is missing is our political center.
Without a center our country cannot hold together.
And we cannot work together to solve our problems.
There are huge economic, political and environmental challenges facing America.
We need ALL of us, working together, to understand and overcome these challenges!
We don’t have to give up our political views to build a center.
We just have to recognize that OUR side does not know everything.
We just have to admit that we do not have exclusive possession of The Truth.
Lo and behold!
The other side –those disagreeable fools–
that other fifty per cent of our fellow citizens–
actually understands some things that we don’t.
And we need their understanding.
What would happen to our country
if we begin to recognize how much we need each other?
We would set about finding the gold in each other!
So we could combine it
and build our indivisible golden center!
How we can begin
Let’s begin by recognizing and honoring those of our leaders
who are free of the conceit
that their side has all the answers and doesn’t need the other side.
Yes, there are courageous leaders out there right now
in both our major parties
who put country first.
Who are willing to work with the other party
to build America’s strength and freedom.
You will find some of these leaders on the committee investigating
the January 6 insurrection.
I could name the ones I most respect, but you can evaluate them yourself.
You have a brain and a heart. I have a brain and a heart.
Let us use them to evaluate our leaders fairly.
Let’s look for the best in them
rather than gleefully canceling them because they aren’t perfect.
Cynicism is easy.
But America wasn’t built by cynics.
Let’s realize how hard it is for a leader today to go to Washington and cooperate.
We don’t send them to do that.
Many don’t know how.
Many of our leaders are lawyers.
Trained to adopt one point of view and defeat the other one.
Let’s encourage our leaders to learn to cooperate instead.
Let’s tell them to put country before party.
Unity is built with balance
We are going to need to develop balance in our thinking.
Let’s show we are capable of balance
as we share our sincerely held views with one another.
Always acknowledging that we could be wrong.
Always aware that our views must continually evolve.
Achieving balance in our country is the challenge of our times.
Without it, we can’t find the best in both sides and create workable compromise.
We won’t begin to achieve balance until we face ourselves.
Face how arrogant we are to think that OUR view
is the only way to see the truth!
The revival of America is up to us.
It is up to us to be constructive.
It is up to us to rebuild the unity of our divided country
with the best of both sides.
Each one of us can help to do that.
As we offer our ideas,
as we speak our thoughts to each other,
let’s seek to hear and understand each other.
Instead of debate,
let’s seek to find our common ground.
We can participate in the weaving back together
of the precious fabric which has been so pitilessly torn asunder:
our mutual trust.
With trust and faith in our hearts,
we can all be brave.
We can let go of our cynicism
about each other, our leaders, our country, our world.
We can believe together in our new beginning.
America is yet young!
Emerson has only begun to be heard!
And there are a thousand poets yearning to emerge.
We will sing the new America into being.
We each have a voice
and there are many ears to hear.
Let us speak words that touch each other gently.
Let us inspire each other to be bold and joyful builders!
Let us read Yeats The Second Coming and understand:
our center must hold.
Yes, it must.
And I believe it will.
because our innocent love of one another
our deep desire to unite our country
our passionately intense conviction
that our Constitution is our rock
and that our freedom is our sun
that will be born over and over
is so strong that no division can ever destroy it.
How do you believe we can rebuild the unity of America?
I would love to hear your ideas.