Friday, November 16, 2012

Men of Reason: Where have they gone?

Have you ever looked at your list of Facebook friends and wondered where some of them came from?

Recently, one of mine sent me a message asking how we knew each other. The truth was -- we didn't. I know that he and his wife were referred to me by a mutual friend of Filipino heritage. This mutual friend was trying to help me connect to my own Filipino heritage.

Today, we met for coffee.

Part of what prompted the meeting was a note asking about our political differences in the presidential election aftermath. It was nothing confrontational or anything, just curiosity of what motivates somebody to vote democratic over republican. I enjoyed our chat.

As we talked about our differences without getting mad, offensive or defensive, I wondered what has happened that we no longer seem to be able to do this simple thing in Washington. We were just two men that shared our political, social and economic philosophies with each other and respected the other's opinion even though we may not have been in agreement. All-in-all, I don't think that we were too far apart. He is more center-right; I am more center-left.

I think that we were in some agreement that our two party system has moved to the extremes of the parties and that our representatives are more concerned with representing their parties than they are with representing their constituents. They can either vote the way they are told to vote or they can go home. None of their legislative proposals will be heard. They will get no good committee assignments. They will get no help running for re-election. If they won't follow the party line, the party will replace them with somebody who will.

I am sad that there is still so much political posturing going on about the impending fiscal cliff. I'm wondering if we are going to see a repeat of the earlier waiting until the last possible moment before kicking the can down the road again. The only reason we are here today is because our legislators didn't do the job set before them in the past. This isn't a cliff; it's a pit of our own making. It seems like a huge waste of time and resources to dig this gigantic pit so that we can now build a bridge over it or negotiate our way around it. For most reasonable people, it would have made more sense to to start the bridge building years ago.

But there's that word again -- reasonable!

Perhaps the few new Senators and Representatives can bring a little voice of reason to their respective parties. Perhaps they can talk like problem solving citizens instead of political puppets. Perhaps they will realize that they don't owe allegiance to the parties, but to the people. Perhaps men and women of reason will be heard.

But I doubt it.

Pray hard.
Preach the Word.
Make friends.

John <><

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