I came across a particular article by a local writer, with an accompanying illustration that spoke volumes about the current atmosphere in Washington DC these days. Regardless of political persuasion, we all can find common ground with opponents…the question is, do we have the desire to find the common ground.
Thanks to Andrea Levy Plain Dealer writer for allowing me to reprint her essay.
I have an old flag my sister gave me. It was frayed and stained. For my purposes here,
a treasure. Seemingly the perfect image. Just right for my observations.
For one thing, it was nearly ripped in half, just like the split between Democrats and Republicans that is currently shredding our national fabric. People are sick and hungry.
I don’t care what our politics are, everyone needs medical care and food. Right?
Also, this flag was worn paper-thin. Delicate and damaged, just like our trust. There have been a few too many government secrets revealed lately.
It had it all. A lovely, bloody mess. A plethora of metaphors. Stars split from stripes, red from blue, busted at the seams, a few loose threads…
But ultimately after photographing it, I decided the image was not useful.
And that’s because it appeared beyond mending. The fabric too fragile, too brittle for thread. It might have characterized our circumstance, our politics, but not us.
So instead I made a little repair to the symbols. I added something utilitarian.
I found a stronger flag.
We know we don’t agree. We likely never will.
But somehow we’re going to have to close this destructive gap ourselves. It will hurt.
I know it will leave a scar. I cringe to say it, but I think we’re going to have to meet in the middle. Find our common address. Politicians can’t do that for us.
When it comes to reunifying the country, I fear it will be up to us to crack the zip code.