(19-Aug-2020) If we are not coming together, we’re coming apart.

The Flag of the United States of America

Since my first presidential election about 40 years ago, I have never missed a vote. I don’t plan on missing this vote either. But I do wish that I had a third option. The two options I have force me to choose between ‘ends’ and ‘means.’ What do I mean?

Mr. Biden is a career politician who is more likely to employ the kinds of ‘means’ that I think appropriate for our highest office of public service. However, while I do agree with some of the ‘ends’ advocated by the Democratic Party that nominated him, they do not represent many of my preferred positions.

Mr. Trump does not, nor will, employ the kinds of ‘means’ that I think appropriate for our highest office of public service. However, while I do not agree with every ‘end’ advocated by the Republican Party that nominated him, they do represent many of my preferred positions.

Both parties would be wise to realize that nearly half the population of the country does not agree with its entire platform and thus not be dismissive of nearly half the country. Both parties would also be wise to not presume to hold the brass ring of moral high ground. Doing those things is not wise, sustainable, kind or respectful. All vote(r)s matter.

Let us embrace the diversity of views on which ‘ends’ are in our national best interest. I respect your constitutional right to your ‘ends’, please respect my right to mine. Let us agree that we all want the same thing: a nation we can feel good about being a part of. Beyond the ‘ends,’ however, ‘means’ matters. In this regard, both parties could do better, but certainly, the sitting President should.

Still, I hasten to add that, apparently, a material portion of our society wanted the ‘means’ to change (and thus helped to elect Mr. Trump). I may not agree with that position, but I respect they have a right to it. Though, one ‘means’ I agree must change is recalcitrant partisanship. That begins with me. Will you join me?

Let us talk with, not at, each other. Listen to each other. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Seek common ground first, then examine the differences. If we focus on the divide, the divide will grow larger. If we focus on common ground, the common ground will grow larger.

Regardless of the election outcome please let us agree, now, on a first principle: “If we are not coming together, we’re coming apart.” I would rather not see us come apart and I’m sure you agree. See, we’re already coming together! Let us seek Uncommon Unity, not Uncommunity.