|The confirmation process for the new Supreme Court Justice has driven a wedge between folks.
My friend Mark Sanborn wrote a thoughtful commentary about the divide on his Facebook page on October 8. He is one of America’s top speakers and authors on Leadership. (I’ve known Mark since he was a student at Ohio State University about 35 years ago.)
Here is a small part of his commentary, followed by my reply on Facebook.
Mark Sanborn wrote, “As a nation, when did we so easily and quickly go from disagreement and argument to public hatred and vitriol? When did we become so threatened by a different point of view or idea that it became necessary to denigrate and even destroy the person who holds it? When did we start channeling most of our energy into what we opposed rather than what we support? When did we start giving more attention to the problem than the solution? Personally, I believe that civil and constructive discourse between the diverse people and cultures of our country can move us forward and lack thereof will keep us mired in the dark negativity of the moment.”
Mark’s post drew over 30 comments and was shared on Facebook by 59 people.
Here is my reply, attempting to provide some historical perspective: “Please allow me to use ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ to represent the two sides. For Liberals still mad about the 2016 election, ‘losing’ the Supreme Court to a Conservative majority was the last straw. There is an excellent analysis by Aaron Blake in the Washington Post. He writes that this will be the ‘first reliably conservative Supreme Court since the New Deal era.’ (President Roosevelt appointed his first of 9 new Justices in 1937, and those FDR appointees switched the Court.) I like this analogy: suppose your favorite college football team has defeated an opponent EVERY year for 80 years. Then in 2018, your team loses. What is your reaction? Coming back to ‘Liberals vs. Conservatives,’ the Supreme Court leaned liberal for so long that Liberals assumed it was always supposed to be that way. In the football analogy, their team was NEVER supposed to lose to that rival. Also, having Republicans controlling both houses of Congress AND the Presidency (an extremely rare occurrence since 1930) has driven many folks stark-raving mad (I don’t mean that literally). The election next month is the real opportunity for voters to make their case. Then again in 2020. Let’s hope the losing ‘side’ will step back, and say, ‘Ok, we’ll get ’em next time.’”
Historical quote by Will Rogers:
[Here’s part of a longer quote I shared last week.] “if you can start arguing over something, and get enough publicity, and keep the argument going, you can divide our nation overnight” DT #1109, Feb. 13, 1930