See, he's very conservative. Listens to all the conservative talk radio available, reads right-wing periodicals. He's very intelligent and worth listening to. We did the Il Dolce Far Niente thing by lingering long after the food was gone, so riveting was the discussion.
"Interesting," I said to Tom this morning. "My very liberal friends have the same opinion of the government and big corporations as this, our very conservative friend. They say basically the same things. Distrust. Frustration. Confusion. All over the same stuff.
"And yet, liberals and conservatives behave as arch enemies. Most of the time these really avid 'wingers' - left or right - have no room for kindness toward one another. Bickering. Name-calling. Anger.
"They basically agree on most subjects yet have hissy fits over a few. I think it's the government's way of keeping us at odds with one another so that we won't wake up to realizing how much we have in common. I mean, if we did, we'd be standing shoulder to shoulder, picking up rocks, turning to face the real enemies, hurling and knocking them out of the way."
One square foot of disagreement in an acre of commonality.
We need to celebrate our agreements, focus our energy on the real matters at hand, stop letting the powers that be manipulate us with fear, and talk radio, and babbling news shows, and constantly pointing out our few differences, stoking those feelings of helplessness, even hopelessness.
Who knows? Maybe if we common, everyday citizens learned to work together to wrestle power from the hands of the elite few, then set about to restore our freedoms, well, just maybe we'd find that the one square foot of differences becomes reconcilable.