Shaking Hands or Going to our Corners
Posted on November 9, 2018
Regardless of where you live and what side you’re on, there were victories and losses. Last night reminded me of a heavyweight fight where there was no clear decision. Both sides took and received good hits. My question for our country is what we all do after the fight is over.
Do we return to our corners, treat our wounds, get a brief rest and get ready for the next round? I’m sure the 2020 presidential election will begin soon. There is plenty to motivate us back to the ring for another fight. Gun control, immigration, Russia, abortion, tax cuts, infrastructure, health care, affordable housing, ring the bell and let’s go!
Or do we come together to the middle of the ring and congratulate each other on a good fight and figure out how we work together to make our country better? I’m old enough to remember a time in politics when the loser of an election used their concession speech to unite us as citizens and the winner worked to bring us all together and put themselves out as a leader for all. Is there any space for us to work together anymore?
I’m afraid we are so polarized that we might not even take a moment to stop fighting long enough to return to our corners. So, we will continue to operate from our fear-based amygdala which leads us to see the other side as our enemy instead of our neighbor. I hope as we enter the holiday session and spend time with family we find ways to transcend our politics and learn to love each other again.
Regardless of your political view, if you read this blog, I think you will agree that some amazing things happened last night that demonstrate that our country is still a vibrant and dynamic democracy!
- Utah, Nebraska, and Idaho expanded Medicaid showing a growing belief that health care is a human right. Tens of thousands of people now have access to health care! Diseases that would have killed people will now get diagnosed and treated earlier. Treating accidents and chronic diseases will not put people in bankruptcy. And people won’t be turned away from care if they have a pre-existing condition.
- A record number of women won house seats!
- LGBTQ candidates won elections, including for Governor in Colorado!
- Veterans won a great many seats. I’m excited to see how their leadership might serve us well in this time of division.
- Our diversity came through with first time wins for black and brown candidates across the country! Even though some of the candidates that got national attention in states like Florida and Georga might not win, the fact these candidates did so well in the South says a great deal about where we are going and how far we have come.
The snapshot of our national and state leadership changed this week. While white males still dominate the picture, we now stand side by side with a growing number of women, people of color, and LGBTQ leaders.
This is a lofty pursuit that has become the biggest challenge in our country. The new Governor elect of California – Gavin Newsome commented that we are the only country in the world that shoots each other at this alarming rate. Other countries have declared wars – we just pretend that we aren’t engaged in a civil war. This is a very big challenge for me as well. I am old enough to remember a time when civility was consider the highest order for human behavior. Can we stop the lowest common denominator behavior and find it in our hearts to inch more closely together? To try and talk (not shout) at one another – understanding that it really takes both sides to agree to do that. I have found myself being ignited too easily, when approached with lack of respect and another’s desire to begin with fighting. I have seen injustices that will bring you to your knees. I hope with some of our new leaders we can get to the root of these problems, not just find solutions for the accepted level of violence.
Thanks so much for your powerful words Libby. Without hope, we are lost, even in our darkest moments.