100 Reasons, Day #96/95 -- Freedom from Discrimination is the Heart and Soul of our Country
I often think about how our British ancestors risk dying at sea and other dangers to make "America" their new home where they were free to worship as they wished. The right to religious freedom was the foundation that built our nation and later codified in our Constitution. Being denied the right to express one's own spirituality in ways that are meaningful is one form of discrimination.
There are laws that protect Americans from a wide array of discriminatory action. Unfortunately, various forms of discrimination still exist even as Americans shout out cries for freedom. The legal protections go much farther if we are willing to create understanding rather than escalating conflict among Americans with various religious beliefs. The same approach can be used for other areas of discrimination while enacting laws that protect our citizens.
Freedom from discrimination is the heart and soul of our country and I will advocate for laws supporting fairness and equality. But to fully eliminate discrimination and to move our country forward, we have to be willing to listen to and seek understanding of people with different views of the world, in order to exist peacefully and identify common goals. This concept has never been more important to efforts toward getting Washington working again, especially in one of the most divided House of Representatives in our nation's history. I am able and willing to work across the aisle in protecting personal freedoms and crafting other common sense legislation whereas George Holding seem reluctant to do so.
"To be willing to have dialogue is the beginning of a peaceful resolution" -- Somali Proverb
100 Stories, Day #96/95 -- Republican Disillusionment with Current State of Washington
While canvassing unaffiliated voters yesterday in Edgecombe County, a very vibrant older couple at the end of their long driveway gave us a welcoming wave, as we stopped to say hello. In their 80′s, they had been married for over 60 years. Lifelong Republicans, there was some disillusion with the way things are currently going in Washington. We talked about several issues and while we did not agree on all of them, it turns out we agreed on some of them owing to our basic values about family and country. We also concurred that faith had helped us through many difficult situations.
I will likely never know if I earned their vote, but regardless it was an important campaign moment as we took the time to discover that we had some common ground. If all involved in a dialogue are genuinely interested in seeking to understand, Democrats and Republicans can reclaim some civility from the past. And who knows, we might come up with some shared ideas.