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Striving to understand all sides

Striving to understand all sides


By Mike Wilcox


I can’t help but think this Memorial Day that our country could be much better if we all could just get along.

For the past several years we’ve been split evenly — those more liberal who favor abortion, immigration, oppose Trump, etc., vs. those that think Trump is the bomb, abortion should be banned and the wall should be built.

It’s great that we have a variety of opinions. What’s less great is the unwillingness of either side to compromise. It seems if you love Trump, you will not agree with anything those oppose him think and vice-versa. If you dislike Trump and his policies, compromising on them is practically treasonous.

Why has compromise become such a dirty word? Why is every position I stand for and promote the only right position? Can’t I study the other person’s opinion and either agree to disagree or concede they might even make sense?

I was taught long ago that there are two sides to every story. There is never a totally right nor wrong side, and usually your conclusion should be somewhere in the middle. That way of thinking today is on the decline.

This seems most evident in the political arena. President Trump has his agenda and his opposition has theirs. Neither will concede one inch to the other, thus government remains stalemated with little getting done.

A comprehensive immigration package has been talked about for years, but can our representatives get such legislation passed? Of course not, because they have tossed aside the ability to compromise.

In real life we practice what our peers in the legislative world teach us. We post our opinions on social media and tell those who don’t like what we say to take a hike or risk being unfriended. Few of us actually take the time to study opinions we might not share

I try not to form opinions based on legislators, social media or educators. I try to study both sides of issues, then usually still, have a hard time deciding what my opinion is.

If people were more deliberate in their decision making, they might see that a contrary opinion may have merit. Maybe then we can sit down and craft conclusions both sides can live with.

Just think if we could conclude certain aspects of Trump’s immigration policy may be implemented along with other aspects pushed by liberals. Maybe after 30 years we could put a real policy in place.

Reality says I’m dreaming. Politicians, like you and I, have a hard time admitting they/we aren’t totally right. Until we can make that admission, this topsy-turvy world won’t get much better.