I am a liberal Democrat, but I do not believe in going into attack mode with any of my many Republican or Libertarian friends. I am a great believer in healthy dialogue about issues, but have no desire to draw a line in the sand between us and them. I believe that is what has gone wrong in our country; that we have moved to such extreme positions that most of our common concerns have gotten lost in the fight.
I grew up in a little Texas town where we all went to the same school and we saw each other at every major event that occurred in town. That constant co-mingling required a level of acceptance and respect for differing beliefs. We did not throw stones at one another; we agreed to disagree. That was my watchword then and remains so now. I value my friends who have differing beliefs, and feel valued by them. We are not us and them. We are simply us.
If we as a nation can respect one another’s beliefs, then we can move forward with needed reform. That doesn’t mean accepting bigotry and injustice, but rather recognizing that most people want the same things: respect, loyalty, decency and kindness for all people. We as a nation are not perfect and we have a long way to go, but I have a profound belief that we can look beyond our differences, embrace our commonality and make the future better for all.
That is my goal. That is my pledge to myself and others.