I had a thought the other day and while I don’t know if it’s unique at least it’s worth considering. In theory, both Democrats and Republicans stand for something noble and true. Republicans represent the power of the individual. The ability of a dedicated, hardworking person to excel. Democrats represent an awareness that we are all connected to one another…that the whole operating in harmony is greater than the sum of its parts. So what has gone wrong?
Well, we can acknowledge the obvious and often do. Power, greed and corruption have infected both parties to the point where the governed no longer trust their government. However, there is a subtle yet more significant point to be made that applies equally to both parties.
In their championing of the individual, Republicans have evolved (or devolved) over time to where that principle is almost always seen in terms of financial success. And because that is the perception (and perhaps the reality) Republicans are misperceived as the party of the affluent who have little time for the poor and their related social issues.
Likewise Democrats, in their championing of the collective, have evolved (or devolved) over time to where they promote their principle as best solely administered by larger and larger centralized, government. And because that is the perception (and perhaps the reality) the governed have tired of the government’s incursion into every aspect of their lives.
But if we can shift our vantage point for a moment and think outside the self-limiting box of adversarial political parties with irreconcilable differences, we can envision and thereby begin to mold a future quite different from the trajectory upon which we now find ourselves.
In fact, we are a nation of individuals and a collective sum that is capable of achievements which are greater than the capability of its parts. We are Republican and Democrat alike as surely as we are “male and female alike.” The usurpation and manipulation of this truth throughout our Nation’s history, by those few who would seek to prosper at the expense of the many, has caused us to lose sight of the best in each of us as individuals and as Republicans and Democrats.
It is in a willingness to recognize and integrate the best of both parties…the power of the individual and our understanding of our connectedness to one another… that real power will be found.
We have gone to the moon and back because brilliant individuals joined with others and together they defied perceived limitation. It is time for Americans to be the best of who we are and once again move beyond the illusion of limitation.
Republicans and Democrats are not adversaries. We are Americans with different perspectives, different solutions… yet with each having our own brilliance and contribution to make to the greater good. It is only in recognition of this fact, and deference to it, that we will be able to move beyond the illusion of separation that now has us in its grip.
Separation and adversity are not cured by politicians or legislation but rather by a shift in perception and a change of heart.