With all the news reports of the acrimony in Congress, I realized that I have seen the model whereby people of differing ideas and value systems can work together for a common good.
My parents were married for 54 years. My mother is a JFK liberal Democrat and my father was a Ronald Reagan conservative Republican.
Every national election they would faithfully go to the polls and cancel-out each other's vote!
So how did they stay married for 54 years (until my father's death) without periodically shutting down the family?
The answer was simple. They respected and valued each other's opinions, even if they did not share those same opinions.
Our democratic system provides for leaders to be elected to office to represent the views and interests of their constituents and the nation as a whole. We are a diverse nation, so it is reasonable to anticipate that our Congress will represent that diversity.
The present tenor of our Congress appears to regard the opposite party as a barrier at best, an enemy at worst.
Both parties seem to be looking beyond the truth and reality of our system. Diversity is the strength of our democracy.
Following in my mother's political footsteps, I am a liberal, ACLU card-carrying Obamacan. But I value the ideas and thought processes of my fellow Republicans. The philosophies of the parties are not hopelessly in conflict, they are hopefully complimentary.
Our country is best served when Democrats and Republicans work together to compromise, and by doing so serve the interests of both parties. No one party has a monopoly on good ideas. Laws, no matter what the origin, can often be improved through the oversight of the legislative process.
The beginning step of this teamwork is to appreciate and respect each other's opinions and values.
It is the secret to success to a happy marriage or an effective Congress.