Monday, June 27, 2005

What's wrong with America?

There are so many things right with our country. What is it that makes both sides of the political process feel so under assault? I got into a comment exchange this weekend that I think helps to illustrate one of the things that I feel is so deeply wrong with our process, and with our collective mindset.

I said:

I think one thing that everybody (myself included) needs to keep in mind is that everybody wants the best for the country. Nobody (despite what Karl Rove might have you believe) wants for harm to come to the country. We just have different ideologies about what exactly is best for the country.
Here's the response that I got:
If you are defining “everybody” as the people that comprise our political process, I would disagree even more strongly. I think the very point people like myself and Jim are trying to make is that the democrats have been acting in the best interests of their party and not in those of the nation at large.
That's it, in a nutshell. If we can't all start out from the gate knowing that we all have the best interests of the nation in mind, then where can we be expected to go? Sure, Republicans and Democrats have different ideas of where the nation should go and different ideas of how it should get there. But those ideas come from a sincerely held belief that they're really working for the betterment of the nation. While I may not agree with them, I have no problem believing that conservatives and Republicans want what they feel in their hearts is best for the country. That gives me some perspective, some common ground, and some respect.

It'd be nice if we could all take a step back and see each other as people trying to help. It wouldn't stop the arguments and the disagreements, but maybe it'd make it more civil.