Here's how it really is: I'm a conservative, somewhere a bit to the right of dead-center. I usually vote for Republicans, but sometimes for a Democrat who might share my disdain of Big Bankers and want to impose some reforms on them. But increasingly, I simply pass up voting for either candidate in a particular race because I find "my guy" to be disgusting. (Ted Cruz immediately comes to mind.)
Last night after our customary Friday evening dinner out K and I stopped at the bookstore. There I saw this book by Chris Matthews that got me to thinking. (I didn't buy it because, frankly, I've always found Chris Matthews to be pretty obnoxious.) Still, the topic made me smile. THIS is what we need today.
Here were President Ronald Reagan, the consummate conservative, and Tip O'Neil, the crusty old liberal Speaker of the House, pictured on the cover in a cordial, collegial embrace. Two pragmatists. I've heard stories of how they would get together, cuss and discuss for hours or days, do some horse trading, and eventually arrive at a position that both could live with. Neither got all they wanted, but neither crushed the other, either. They both lived to fight another day. And we were all better off for it. America worked.
I have friends, both on-line and in the real world, who are just a bit to the left of dead center. I have absolutely no doubt we could get together, discuss the country's mess, perhaps share an adult beverage or two, and arrive at a reasonable position we could all abide by. But we never hear about people like us in the news.
It's always the ideologues from the extreme fringes of our two parties (tell me again why we can't have three parties?) who seem to be in control. I swear they'd argue with a stop sign! Before one side can even get the words out of their mouth, the other side is condemning it as likely to cause our country's immediate and complete collapse.
I'm ready for a REVOLUTION! No, I don't mean where we pick up guns and pitchforks and go killing anyone who even looks like they might disagree with us. I only want to pick up guns and pitchforks and go after the extreme ideologues. (Relax....I'm just kidding. Maybe. :)
Those who disagree with me in a civilized, open-minded way....pull up a chair. Let's talk some football, who brews the best beer, and maybe a little health care. We'll figure it out.
Give and take. Compromise. That's how our Founding Fathers did it. You know, those old guys we always put up on a pedestal as if they were saints?