Thursday, November 04, 2004

Conversations

Yesterday, I heard that one of my engineers was upset by the election results. So I talked to him, mainly to give him a sounding board. He had been frustrated, among other things, by Bush supporters in the office who dismissed his concerns about the President and his administration, and wouldn't engage him in discussion.

We talked about a variety of topics. I told him about what I'd learned over the last two months doing research for this blog, both about Kerry and Bush. For instance, he was a little perturbed about Bush "leaping over" those 500+ folks on the Texas Air National Guard waiting list. I told him that those 500 wanted "weekend warrior" billets while the TANG had several openings for pilot training, training that required a multi-year full-time commitment few were willing to make. I pointed him in the direction of Wingmen for Bush for more information.

There's still a lot of misinformation floating around, and disappointed partisans vowing to "keep fighting" — a theme echoed in Senator Kerry's concession speech:
"I'm going to fight on for the people and the principles that I've stood for," said Kerry, who returns to the Senate to complete his term. Friends and admirers who joined him, running mate John Edwards and their families applauded lovingly during his 15-minute speech at this city's historic Faneuil Hall.
Folks, now is the time for gentle persuasion, not fevered rhetoric. Defusing the anti-Bush animus triggered by Gore's loss in the 2000 election will take a lot of work, one person at a time.

Debate makes for a healthy democracy when participants are willing to listen to each other's viewpoints and work toward finding common ground. So keep the conversations going.