A SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND
Sometimes, during the early morning hours when I am stuck in a state of semiconsciousness, I’ll listen to the familiar voice of my friend, Lee Hutchinson, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance via the local radio waves. When he articulates the phrase “one nation, under God, indivisible …“ I invariably wince. Indivisible? Seriously? That’s our credo, but … Our citizenry and states are NOT united. Not only are they at odds, they regularly repulse each other. You hear the arguments and animosity on mainstream television and read it on social media. How did it come to this? What has led to such destructive disparity? Each faction is doggedly determined to win the nation’s mindset and claim victory in the upcoming election. Triumph generates power, the authority for the privileged party to proceed down its preferred path. Republicans don’t want a Democrat to lead the nation; Democrats don’t want a member of the GOP to steer the ship. Third-party candidates can’t muster enough votes to disrupt the status quo. Our republic was not designed to generate immediate answers to complicated conundrums. Controversial issues demand discussion, compromise and a genuine search for common ground. It appears the factions are too interested in scoring points in their manufactured “game” to nudge the nation into some semblance of a state of stability. How long can we meander in this meaningless malaise? Many choose to ignore the senseless stalemate and focus on their daily activities. But governmental gaffes and gridlock have a way of penetrating personal lives in the form of inflation, border blunders, supply chain chaos, a stock market mess, and a European conflict rattling nearly every nation’s need for food and energy. At what point do we eat a healthy portion of humble pie and vow to consider an alternative plan? Common ground has never been more valuable. Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.