Service Interrupted: A Political Memoir-Chapter Fifteen

   Numerous differences separate human beings, one from the other. Diplomacy tears down walls when two sides have good reason to make a pact.

   A night-time soap opera of a few years ago, "The West Wing," put these words in the mouth of a character named Toby. Toby said, "Trade partners don’t go to war. The other stuff we’ll work out."

   In historical fact, trade partners go to war against one another with depressing regularity. Nazi trains pulling oil supplies and other raw materials puffed into the Soviet Union as Hitler rode to the Eastern Front for the coming invasion. British merchantmen plied the Atlantic trade with their most dependent foreign customer, the USA, while British mercenaries were on their way to burn the White House.

    Commercial interests will not necessarily keep people from fighting. There must be some way to find compelling common interest to compel agreement.

   No one person will unite us, pull together the disparate agendas of our state or national convention or energize our young persons. That is, unless the coming King makes a meaningful philosophical argument for the continued existence of the convention. More of the same will not do. No one will organize us around "certain core tasks."

   Where are we alike? What is the commonality around which we can unite?

   We have the same human composition. Therefore, we have the same basic needs. We might unite around basic human need.

   We have the same basic morality, at least in the negative sense. That is, we are offended by the same actions or thoughts and so recognize "immorality" when we see it. We may draw lines at different places but we all draw lines on the basis of our moral sense. Our basic human need and sense of "oughtness" bring us closer together than we may realize.

   The way we handle the gap between the lines we draw may determine our ability to reconcile. God forgives us totally, completely without condition and this is our ultimate goal. We may get there incrementally. We certainly need to work together between the present reality and the coming redemption.

   Why might we determine our commonality around where we draw lines? In fact, aren’t circles and lines self-contradictory?

   In fact, a circle is a line, isn’t it, rounded and continually flowing, a set of points where various lines may intersect at various points at different times? Doesn’t that create angles of entry for variety and strength for building? 






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