This evening a group of us will gather at a local bar, order our beers and spend an hour or so talking together. It is a diverse group who gathers at this local watering hole once a month. A couple Christians. A couple Jews. With a few nothing or not sures rounding out the group. And, we are a mix of liberal and conservative, Republicans and Democrats.
The topic for our conversation this evening is this:
Is there any way to make sense of or to find our way through the gridlock of opinions that has shut down our government. In other words, we are going to try to do something that our elected officials have not be able or willing to do.
I realize there is no risk for us.
There are no policy outcomes.
There are no upcoming elections in our futures.
Your taxes won’t go up because of anything we say.
Your health care will not be jeopardized by any of the opinions we express.
One thing I am sure of is that by 9:00 this evening we will not have resolved anything.
We will walk away just as we walked in – with differing opinions and differing points of view. But I think we will have accomplished, at least, a couple important things. We will have taken a stab at talking about a challenging issue. And, we will have done our best to articulate our views and opinions thoughtfully and carefully without insulting one another. And, in the midst of all of that maybe we will have listened to another whose views differ sharply from our own and walk away from the table thinking about what has been said and shared.
Maybe if we can do that much…