Monday, January 17, 2011

Mr. President, it just might work...

As the memory of President Obama's historic speech fades, I believe the American public is holding its collective breath to see if his call for more civility and respect in our politics will take hold.

I am hopeful.  Check this out...

Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has put forth a proposal that breaks a partisan tradition in Congress.  Senator Udall's idea is so simple and obvious that Americans everywhere must surely feel a little sheepish that no one had suggested it earlier.

It is this:  At the State of the Union address later this month, rather than dividing Congress into Democratic and Republican seating sections, as if they were at a college football game, have the various members of Congress sit amongst each other.

You know?  Desegregation.

So far, from what I've read, the idea is getting bipartisan support, ranging from Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell in the Senate, to Steny Hoyer in the House.  Speaker Boehner gave a less-than-enthusiastic response.  "Members of Congress choose where to sit at the State of the Union," he said through a spokesman. Well, at least that's not a flat-out "No."

It seems like a small thing.  But, we've been at each other's throats for so long now that even this small thing counts for something.

Let's be real.  There is a risk with getting on board the "hippie-dippy" love train.  Nobody wants to end up looking like a head-in-the-clouds dreamer.  But, I think Americans are ready to be reconciled to each other.

As President Obama said, if we really want to honor the fallen from the Tucson tragedy, we ought to give it a try.

1 comment:

Dan Binmore said...

Things such as where you sit do matter to the psyche of people. Anytime you remove the physical signs of separation and difference you remove some of the psychological effects of separation and difference. Us and them becomes a little more we.

When I was a teenager I was a deep pessimist but now I am an optimist. I have become an optimist by looking at real scientific data of what is happening in the world rather than news reports. The world is getting kinder and gentler.

Progress happens slowly and falteringly. A thousand personal vows to change oneself to be a kind and good person are outweighed in the media by a single violent act.

Hope is vital. It can be kindled at times like these but to get what we want in life it must be protected, nurtured and maintained in times that seem dark. There will be times when everything seems dark again.