I am writing to thank Jim Fossel for the column he wrote for the March 17 edition of the paper, entitled, “Longing for civility in politics.”

Although I am from the “other camp” and often disagree with a lot of things Fossel writes, I wholeheartedly agree with every word he said that day and I hope that many other people from both “camps” agree, too.

In these days when the chasm between the two political camps in our nation are growing ever wider and seemingly impossible to overcome, I think it is very important for us all to seek out the middle ground where we can find things to agree upon and thus build bridges back to the “functioning democracy” we were taught about in school. I wonder if that lesson is taught as history these days.

Democracy’s foundations include something I learned about in college: “Hegel’s Dialectics,” in which a thesis (or static idea) is challenged by an antithesis (or new and opposing idea), causing a new synthesis of evolved thinking to emerge, that includes both.

It takes courteous, open-minded listening, mutual respect and decorum to arrive at syntheses, not the fear-based, “my way or the highway” thinking that has taken over in the minds of many people and the halls of our government. Although the sensational and inflammatory content that abounds in our media and in social media has in large part brought us here, I think I’ll start reading Fossel’s columns.

Your woke, tree-hugging friend,

Kay Mann


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