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It does not serve the United States well to have such a divided nation.  Polarization makes for awkward and ineffective democracy.  Self-righteousness can be a detriment to a free society.  Egocentric politics serves one person and that can be a detriment to the many.  Sometimes we have to get out of the way to make room for democratic sharing and consideration.  The majority, in a democracy, does not stand ready to deny rights to a minority.  In fact, majority decisions have been wrong many, many times; it is the cost of democracy.  And that is why these gloating self-interest and insensitive pronouncements are ruining our nation.

Perhaps I'm naive enough to believe that finally getting Osama bin Laden can be a uniting factor in our nation's struggle to move beyond partisan self-interest.  Why wouldn't every American feel this way?  Because egocentricity and selfishness stand in the way.  Too many of us cannot see beyond our nose.  We do not understand democracy and democratic precepts.  We think that if we can only get more people over to our side we are doing good for our nation.  But sometimes what we think is correct can indeed be wrong.  Sometimes selfishness and greed are in direct opposition to a nation that practices democracy.

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This past week has been a welcomed change in political attitudes.  A certain tolerance has finally entered the picture.  While some people are only happy when they hold onto a focus on differences, a small step toward compromise and healthy communication has taken place.  Focusing only on differences is counter-productive.  And we have given far, far too much attention to the nay-sayers.  If you have nothing positive to add to the conversation, perhaps it would be best for America if you shut up.

If you and I have differences of opinion, this opens up a good opportunity for dialogue.  Few Americans wish for the U.S. to fail or go backward.  Therefore we can start from a place where we can at least agree upon that.  Shouting, rants, negativity, hostility, lies, distortions, personal attacks, insinuations, etc. only stand in the way of communication and progress. 

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I will be away for awhile, having major surgery.  I have a favor to ask each of you...

I'm bothered by the tone of the comments here.  The non-civil comments are coming from both those on the right-wing and those on the left-wing.  Please stop, at least while I'm in the hospital.  And a seemingly cooperative statement followed by a snide remark is just as bad.  Stop it, please.

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