I was heartened by Sen. Lamar Alexander's leaving a strictly partisan group and declaring he intends to seek solutions to our national problems through communication with Democrats as well as Republicans.
The reason it was such good news is that anyone can see how partisanship is actually destroying this country. What communism and terrorism couldn't do, we are doing to ourselves.
If we keep polarizing ourselves, we will disintegrate from inaction. We will continue to be too full of partisan venom to be Americans first, last and always.
Don't tell me it is not a problem, and don't tell me it is not any worse than it has always been. It's our biggest problem, and it is many times worse than it has ever been. It has given us a paralyzed government.
Some people hate all government so much it may be good news to them that the government is paralyzed. Nothing could be more stupid. Government is an instrument of the people. It is the instrument through which we provide fundamental services. It is the instrument through which we assure justice for the weak and vulnerable.
Look at what a candidate's view of government is, and you will know exactly what he will do if he gets elected. If he depicts the government as our enemy, he will cripple its services. He will sell out to big contributors and leave the people to be victimized by the powerful people who pull his string.
Whatever happened to the glorious idea that you can disagree with people and still love them, that we can simply agree to disagree without recrimination?
My father was a Republican, and my mother was a Democrat. They lived together for 67 years. I watched them argue a while and then cuddle a while. I saw how deeply they respected each other no matter how hot the debate got.
I carried those memories with me into public office. I never hired or fired a man because he was a Republican. I never asked where ideas came from. I chose the best ideas regardless of their source. What in the world is partisan about good schools, streets, sewers and programs to create jobs for all the people?
Being in the Jaycees when they were a powerful organization was very good for me. There were few Democrats in the club, but we had a ball talking politics. Ross Walker and I would sit up all night drinking George Dickel and arguing, then we'd laugh and hug and go home. I loved the man. He was smart and merited my respect. Former Sen. Bill Brock was in our club, and I respected his views. I invited him to speak to an educational group I headed because he had good ideas on education.
I don't know where today's crop of politicians got their training that made them such vicious, narrow-minded idiots, but it sure would have been good for them to sit at our dinner table and watch my parents argue and still keep on loving each other.
I do not mean to be flippant in these remarks. I really do believe polarization threatens the very survival of our great country. Aside from that solemn truth, I can't turn on the talking heads on TV without getting sick to my stomach.
Is there any antidote for acute political nausea?
Email Dalton Roberts at DownhomeP@aol.com.