Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Political Playground

The lives of many have been forever changed this weekend. The tragedy in Tucson reaches across the nation. Many are recognizing the need to end the extreme political rhetoric and renew our country's commitment to civil discourse, the core value of a strong democracy.  My son, Thomas Danler, and I were discussing how society can begin this shift. He offered the following example he had given to his eleven year old son.

There will always be people at opposite sides just like on a teeter totter. That is why it is very important that the people who make up the fulcrum are strong. The fulcrum has to be solid and of high integrity in order for the teeter totter to balance the opposite ends.

His explanation made me realize that I don't have to just hope that the "extremes" tone down their rhetoric. I can renew my commitment as an actively involved citizen. I can encourage all those who are also part of the wide fulcrum to remain stable, solid, and of high integrity. The role of the balancing fulcrum is more important during these times of polarizing stances.  Offering an opposing extreme view as an answer to another extreme only creates a false sense of balance which is easily toppled. A stable fulcrum of high integrity will move our country forward.