Friday, September 4, 2009

An open letter

I submitted this letter to the Press Telegram, my local newspaper, on August 5. They haven't published it, so I assume it's o.k. to share it with you.


This is an open letter to “Liberals” and “Conservatives.”
I am a deeply religious and socially liberal person, disillusioned with both of the major political parties and skeptical about the potential effectiveness of the third party with which I am allied. I am also a voter who has had enough of the unpleasantness coming from every corner.
When did “conservative” and “liberal” become pejorative terms? Words only have the meaning and power we assign to them. To be conservative is to be cautious, to be concerned with protecting something of value. To be liberal means to be generous and tolerant. Those are all good ideals.
I’d like to think we all want what is best for the people of the United States. I believe we could redirect th e energy that goes into pointing fingers and drafting propaganda, instead strategizing together for equitable public policy and solutions to the social and economic problems that affect the entire nation.
We who live in this country do not have to be in an adversarial relationship with one another. I would love to see politicians, public employees, and private citizens focus on their agreement rather than their disagreement. I would love to be surrounded by people who can listen respectfully and with open minds to what people around them have to say, even when they disagree.

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