Recently my friend, Jay, reached out to me asking "opinion on this?" and sent me a video on Del. Nick Freitas. It was an old video, but I watched it anyway.
Freitas stood on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates, expressing his views on gun rights and the attitude of the Democratic party towards the Republican party. At first, I was upset by the language used by Freitas. But as I continue watching I see a different problem; all the Democrats who walk out of the room.
My heart sinks. How are we suppose to ask the other side to sit and listen when we cannot do the same. No matter what party you're affiliated with, or where on the political spectrum you lie, it is upsetting to see people leave a room in a political discussion. Jay considers himself to be conservative and he knows that I'm pretty liberal, but we often ask each other opinions on political things and talk about them, without getting upset.
It can be difficult to listen to something, especially if you don't agree with it on a basic moral level, but don't leave. In romantic relationships, if one person leaves in the middle of an argument, the other feels hurt and unheard. It is impossible for there to be communication when half of the whole is not there. More than four in five people in a guardian survey said poor communication played a role in a previous failed relationship.
If we want our government to work, if we want the relationship between the democratic and republican party to work, then we have to be able to listen to each other. We have to be able to sit across the aisle from someone we don't agree with and continue to sit there as they discuss what they feel.
This plays out on both sides. It is impossible for the one to make a relationship of two, work. We have to be in this together. No matter what. No matter how mad the other side makes us, no matter how much they hurt our feelings. We promised to be there. Through thick and thin. We said from the beginning when we first became a country, that we would stick together. When we went through a tough time when the north was going to split from the south, we stuck together. When wars waged and we had to save our friends, we stuck together. We cannot let anger and fear tear us apart after we have been through so much.
If we are going to make this work; not just for the next two years, not just for the next century, not just until a better country comes along. If we are going to really make it, then we have to be there for each other. Until the end. Till death do us part.