One Nation, One Path, First Step

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Hello Tolucans! How has everyone been? Circumstances of odd control have led to an absence of late. These things happen but we are still here, still clinging to our piece of the planet holding on for dear life.
So with the New Year upon us, we get it in our heads that a new year means renewed efforts, renewed hopes and renewed energy. Not sure why partying until midnight plus gives us energy or why, if it does, we don’t do it more often but, never the less and with no further questions asked, let’s keep hiking.
This year ends with so much mixed emotions going on in the country right now:: rightly a lot of fear, purposely a lot of anger, disappointments and controversies. About the only thing that has gone right was that Falcon the Balloon Boy really wasn’t a victim of science experiment gone publicity.
Now you may have ‘read me’ mention that there is a political and social debate site I frequent because debate turns me on and, in that place, I get to debate and go head-to-head with people who I would ordinarily only see during a thirty second clip of some event during a newscast. It’s a chance to get around the country, even around the world, and really get into conversations that contain more substance than who is falling in love with what celebrity and who has the newest, latest, greatest, or whatever goes on out there. Like my marriage, I am a one-site guy, it’s enough time spent with electronics for my taste.
Now as I mention, within this site there are people from the left, from the right, from the center and even one guy who insists he is from outer space. Oddly enough, his views do, half the time, meet an interesting perspective befitting one that is actually offering an “overhead” view of the situation. The other half of the time it befits more the perspective of one who thinks he really is an alien. You take what you get on the Internet. And, finally, there are the extremes. Such extremes as I have only seen and heard of on fictional shows such as Mr. Limbaugh’s and the likes, of course, of others like Mr. Levin. (Yes, I have a point of view on these people).
Now my wife Liz says that I missed my calling. She says that I should have been a hostage negotiator. Now I will give credence to a theory that some of that comes from love as much as from observation. However, I cannot dispute some of the disputes that I have resolved in some very bizarre, tense or just plain compelling situations. (More about that later by request, or maybe I‘ll just go there someday).
The crossroads of all this lies with the conservatives on this site that hate, and I mean HATE, the president and despise liberal thought and mere presence. Now guilty as charged, I have gotten into some deeply intense debates that were, at times, more of a reaction to a reaction to a reaction than a discussion. I am not above succumbing at times to provocation. However, in more than a few cases I have pursued the antipodes of the hate, taken advantage of the ability to privately communicate with some of these seething folks and found, quite easily, common ground, common goals and, most importantly, common courtesy. Full circle–it  makes our debates more constructive than destructive.
We have all heard the saying that if soldiers could meet for a drink before a war they would not be as compelled to fight one another. Well I have to tell you that stand is true for each and every one of us that is so intensely engaged in our politics. Now it’s not that one has to change one’s mind but only open one’s mind in order to listen and then respond to the issue, not without conviction but, however, without the venom.
So in the New Year, how about for the New Year we find a way to find out what we have in common first and then find a way to mesh for the best. You can still be partisan and you can still be direct but this time let’s find a way to still be friends first and proceed as one nation, under God with a New Years renewal of being better at being Americans and worse at turning on them.

Lloyd E. Flyer is a freelance writer and may be contacted through “The Tolucan Times” or at Alternateangle@pacbell.net.

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