But first, while we await the early returns . . .
And here’s one — the Tonight Show’s scheduled pianist had a last-minute accident, so this kid in flip flops trots down from the audience, and . . . pretty great.
Okay, so now let’s talk.
How do we come together again as a nation . . . with vigorous disagreements over how best to achieve our goals, but ever mindful that we have common goals?
And that where our goals do differ, at least finding common ground on which to build compromise.
Indeed, take the hardest issue of all: abortion.
I would argue that everyone is pro-life; no one, pro-abortion in the sense of hoping to need one.
I think we can agree that re-criminalizing abortions doesn’t mean they would disappear, just that they would be unsafe, sometimes deadly, for poor women; perfectly safe and accessible for women who can afford to travel to states or countries like Canada or Mexico or predominantly Catholic Ireland and Italy where they’re legal.
The Democratic line promulgated by the Clintons was that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” For those who are pro-life, the “legal” part is unacceptable, but the “safe” and “rare” parts could be areas of common ground.
And what of Plan B, the morning after pill? Shouldn’t that largely serve both sides’ interests? It works to prevent pregnancy in the first place!
My point is not to suggest there’s a perfect solution that will make everyone happy. Just that — even on this most contentious of all issues — there’s common ground that could probably unite at least 90% of the citizenry.
Even if he’s not your candidate, take a minute to watch this: Joe Biden’s UNITED States of America.
Aren’t we ready for an uplifting message of unity, respect, and hope?
Here are some things we can all agree on:
1. Truth and facts matter. It is better to be honest than to lie or cheat. To be accurate than inaccurate.
2. Kindness and respect matter. The Golden Rule is a good one: “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.”
3. Wherever possible, we should strive to reduce suffering, increase happiness.
4. We need to revitalize our infrastructure and do a better job providing health care.
5. We have a responsibility to steward this little spaceship for the generations to come.
But also . . . and suddenly it gets tribal . . .
6. Whatever else you may think of him, Barack Obama really was born in America.
7. The Central Park Five really were innocent, despite ads calling for their execution, and a lack of regret for those ads even today.
I could add dozens more like those last two — to my mind, the last four years have been appalling — but not today.
Tom emailed to tell me the Bidens (and Obamas!) are “moral sleaze.” This couldn’t be Russian disinformation (even though the U.S. Intelligence agencies have warned us that it is). Tom just knows it.
Putin has thousands of psy-ops agents working to get us to hate each other.
But we have a strong interest in assuming the best of each other and finding common ground.
On some things, full agreement may never be possible. On others, what is now hugely contentious may one day yield to general agreement, just as happened with the shape of the earth (now almost universally agreed to be round), the biblically-justified institution of slavery (now almost universally agreed to be an abomination), or the right of women to vote (now almost universally agreed to be obvious).
Tom emailed later to say thanks — he enjoyed our exchange. I took that as an encouraging sign.
There’s so much that needs doing and fixing and healing in this country. Let’s hope the light of a new direction begins to shine through around 8pm tonight.
Quote of the Day
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.~Abraham Lincoln
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