We are back from our trip to Kansas. We had a great time with family and friends. I had a bout with COVID. Jeny never got it. My symptoms were minimal. That was good for me, but since I was not too sick, I did not realize I had it. I fear I spread it to family before I realized I had it. Not good!
The family reunion was great food and good company. The class 80th birthday party was a special time. A lot of old people happy to be alive.
We are glad we went and very glad to be home safe and sound.
ELECTION INTEGRITY. One of our visits was to a friend who recently was the election commissioner for a county in Oklahoma. He described himself as a moderate Republican. He did not believe the last presidential election was stolen. His big concern is the negativity about elections. He knows from the inside all the work and safeguards that go into protecting the integrity of our elections. He insists any problems are isolated and not large enough to overthrow an election. He believes to protect our democracy we must trust the election system. It may have some warts but not enough to deny and defeat our democracy.
RESPECTFUL INTERVIEW. During the trip I was fascinated by an interview by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes. He interviewed Bart Barber, newly elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. I was impressed with both men. Cooper is openly gay and asked tough questions about the church’s stance on homosexuality. He asked respectfully. Barber answered in ways true to his beliefs and in a respectful manner. He also gave some thoughtful remarks about his presidential views. Both men interacted without diatribe.
Interestingly some commentators and analysts have blasted the interview. They wanted diatribe. They were upset Barber is not sure of Donald Trump in 2024.
I would like to see more interviews conducted respectfully between people with different perspectives. I am tired of diatribe and one-sided commentary.
SELF CRITICISM. I was encouraged by another interesting interview. Former president Barack Obama criticized the cancel culture of the Democratic party. His criticism was not a criticism to personally pick on an opponent within the party or to aggrandize himself. It was an honest statement that most people recognize as being true. He used the term “buzzkill” to describe the tension created by the fear a person might slip up and make a verbal mistake like we all do from time to time.
It was very refreshing for me to see his willingness to criticize the party with which he identifies. As I have said often, dialog requires the ability to see strengths in the other side and weaknesses in one’s own position. Obama demonstrated he was willing to recognize weaknesses in his party and work to improve them.
We need more people willing to acknowledge weaknesses in their own positions.