Peacekeeper has been defined as a mediator, a parent, a restorer of civility and, out West, a revolver.
We have been subject to mass disinformation from both sides of the spectrum during the political process. A pandemic rages around us being fought by local health providers day and night whose common sense recommendations in some instances are ignored by those more concerned about looking tough as opposed to listening to sound science. Wishful thinking and denial are not much use when facing Mother Nature’s wrath.
Today’s peacekeepers sit at a table of issues heaped with a pandemic, civil unrest, a broken immigration system, and races eyeing each other with suspicion.
Any kind of reconciliation requires us to examine assertions we hear; especially those that are negative about other persons or issues.
Civility in politics and our daily life actually does exist. There have been examples in the past of persons with polar opposite views being able to sit down together to reach a consensus for the common good.
I have one autographed photo of me with a politician in my office. He and one of his senate colleagues would excoriate each other on the senate floor and then have lunch together to continue the debate in a civil manner.
He would tell me to challenge every assertion, but listen to other views. Take nothing for granted, but be true to your goal.
That person is Barry Goldwater, the father of Republican conservatism, and the other Ted Kennedy. Complete political opposites who admired each other’s fervor.
We have local communities coming together to discuss social issues. It’s at least the start of a long process. Those who would divide should be told to sit in the corner and wear the dunce cap.
There is one exception to civility. This Saturday I hope red state Georgia can for one day be painted Gator blue after the football game.