Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Mary Matalin and James Carville
Are well-known political strategists
Who met and married after working
For opposing presidential candidates.

They continue to pursue separate careers
While raising their two daughters in New Orleans.
They appear together only occasionally.
They say they never talk politics at home.

How can this be?
Doesn't a strongly held position
Alienate oneself from civil discourse with
Those who are of different minds.

Perhaps the Carvilles simply respect each other's beliefs
And do not let differences harm their affections.
Does the holding of opposing views
Require disdain for the other party?

Have we reached the point in our society
Where expressing a definite position on a current topic
May be regarded as a hostile act --
Even prosecuted as a hate crime?

A dichotomy is a mutually exclusive set of opinions.
Are those who hold opinions unable to, or forbidden
To try to understand the logic and the passion
Of their opponents in public debate?

We need to respect the opinions of others
Even if we cannot agree with them.
Out of respect comes tolerance,
Rather than hatred and verbal abuse.

Divergent opinion on hot button issues
Such as abortion or gay marriage
Can never be reconciled in compromise,
But they can be tolerated in the larger whole.