By Rick Dancer
Sitting in the top floor of a Portland Skyscraper, waiting for the next interview for the Senator Mark Hatfield Documentary to arrive, my mind wanders. I’m always amazed after doing a set of interviews about “The Senator” how much closer I feel to understanding what God really intended life to be like.
What happened to honor, respect and the ability to compromise? Politics is a fine art that’s been turned into the greatest evil. Perhaps we have too much information at our fingertips. As a former journalist I say that carefully. I wonder that the problem isn’t really the information but the delivery system.
We’ve become a bunch of self-righteous, single-minded citizens in a country founded on the art of compromise.
As I listen to some of the most powerful people in this country talk about what was, what is, and predict what is to come, I am saddened. While each of us goes about our day, the public relations machine massages and masterfully mixes it’s message creating more controversy and unrest. We click on the TV, the latest radio talk show or political website and allow their message to whip us into a frenzy as we move closer and closer to the imaginary lines the parties call principles.
As I listen to U.S. Senator Jeff Merkely talk about Hatfield, and then about politics when the camera is turned off, I realize he and I have some common ground, some area’s where compromise is highly possible.
Do you want to know what the secret to winning this war on America is all about? Sit down with someone you think you disagree with, someone you believe you hate and talk. If you keep in mind what “The Senator” said was most important “Relationship” you can walk away from the conversation with a discovery that “Common Ground” is never easy to find but it’s often somewhere closer to the middle.
Oh, and remember, the public relations machine and media needs to sell and titillate you into buying what they’re selling so don’t expect the “middle” or the “compromise” to be drawing any headlines.