Unite, Not Fight. Stop the partisan bickering!
To you, our esteemed, elected officials,
First, we want to thank you for your service to our great country. Political life can be thankless. We respect your willingness to serve. More importantly, however, what we really want to say to you is that “We the People” elected you to represent us in the halls of government. The partisan games that have intensified in recent years are not worthy of you or this great nation. We all, regardless of political persuasion, feel great frustration as men and women of wisdom refuse to deal with each other honestly and with integrity.
Examples of partisan grandstanding and blustering, and much worse, abound throughout the history of US political life. Some might say it is an inevitable part of the process, however, upon examination, the thoughts and actions of great leaders, here and abroad, from Lincoln, to FDR, to Eisenhower, to Nelson Mandela tell a different story.
What great leaders like these share in common is the determination and ability to bring people together, to make space for everyone’s views to be voiced, to use or improve upon their ideas, and then to collaboratively reach decisions based upon a greater good, reflective of “the art of the long view”.
Imagine the possibilities if you, as our elected officials, diligently insisted on remaining objective, to “holding the tension” of listening to, understanding, perhaps even appreciating differing view points, and of disregarding motive or personality in a search for substance and best practice solutions. In the truest sense of the word, to partner together.
When you swore the oath of office, you pledged to us that you would conduct the people’s business and uphold the Constitution. Compromise, sacrifice, and collaboration are at the heart of democracy; without them, democracy cannot survive.
As he concluded his first inaugural address, during the darkest of hours, President Lincoln reminds of who we can and must be . . . “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
If healing our land is truly your concern, if returning the United States to greatness is your aim, then you will take heed. We are watching.