". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Value of Divisiveness

I find it ironic that the theme of both Obama's and Huckabee's victory speeches after last night's Iowa caucus was change--how Americans are tired of "politics as usual" and ready to put aside divisiveness and come together to work for a shared vision of what their country should be. The message is that patriotic, caring and sensible Americans of both major political persuasions really all want the same things and that we could achieve them if those obstructionist, ideological politicians would only get out of the way.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but that message does not do it for me. Because I am not interested in compromising my principles just to get along. The reason there are two major political parties in this country is that we don't all want the same thing. Some of us want abortion-on-demand; others call it legalized infanticide. Some of us think the government is not doing enough; others think it is doing too much. Some of us think that the government should have the power to decide how American children should be raised; others think that should be left to the parents. Some of us think there should be more and higher taxes to finance bigger and ever-expanding government programs; others think the government already takes and wastes far too much of its citizens' wages.

I could go on. But the point is we don't all have the same vision for the country, and standing on a podium spouting pretty words isn't going to magically unite us. And in my opinion, that's fine. Because I want representatives and leaders who share my principles and who are more interested in articulating and standing by those principles than in compromising. Working together is all fine and good, but only if we are working for the right things. So one thing I will be looking for in the next few weeks is the candidate who is willing to acknowledge that some people are just downright wrong and who is not afraid to say so. Divisiveness? Bring it on.

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