Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mission Not Accomplished

As anniversaries go, the first has the most inverse proportion of sentiment to consequence. So I will try to be brief.

One year ago, I started Across the Great Divide with great idealism, some forethought but minimal research, and not a lot of planning for what would happen down the road. Sort of like going into Iraq.

I am still here, at a cost somewhat short of $277 billion. (Full disclosure: It's five bucks a month so I can post a music file once in awhile.)

The idea was to try to look above the partisan fray and find ways to talk to people I might otherwise argue with. To acknowledge differences without making them toxic. To look beyond pure politics to the personal decisions and responsibilities we might share as citizens and neighbors.

Okay, I tried.

This ambition was born in the aftermath of the 2004 Presidential election and the realization that rancor, villification, sarcasm and even facts were not going to bring us back together as a nation. We had to find something else, something deeper inside each of us.

We might have found it, but not through careful listening and accepting our differences.

A year later, the Democratic party is still floundering around — usually a sign of impending death that I choose to read as a sign of stirring life. And more of the Republicans, who I had hoped to engage in periodic bouts of reasonableness, seem to have been moved closer to the middle instead by rigidity and excesses afterall — from the people on their own side of the divide.

I don't take pleasure in that, and can't take any credit for it, but I'll take it.

And thrash around myself for another year.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

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