I had lunch with a new friend the other day. During our conversation and discussion, he said, have you noticed not being able to have a political discourse with friends and colleagues of the opposite persuasion?
My answer was, “yes, I have, both personally and professionally” Ever since the campaign and the election of Donald Trump, discussion leads to contention. Conversation leads to squabbles. Comments lead to controversy and communication ends in partisan contradiction.
I did say, that Congress is probably the catalyst for this since both political parties have been in contention for the last eight years and beyond and I think it has spread to the world.
When I first started covering Capitol Hill as a young reporter fifty years ago, I observed camaraderie between the political parties. Senators and Representatives could argue their point in a debate but would laugh and fraternize in the cloak room or at a bar afterward. I was privileged to have been invited to dinner at various representatives homes where both republican and democrats shared congressional stories with respect for each other’s position.
I’m not in DC anymore, but I’m told it’s not that way these days.
We need to get back to civility, to courtesy, and to common sense.
At the moment, every conflict nibbles at the fabric of our republic.
Every distortion, every fabrication, every innuendo from those in power removes a thread from the cloth of compromise, and soon the covering of democracy will be laid bare.
I fear for what might come next.