To the Journal editor:
While going through an old shoe-box of items from times past, I found a medal won way back for high school declamation, an old-fashioned term that was later changed to debate.
Although it was a very long time ago, I remember my teacher saying three things: Always respect your opponent; never, ever say their argument was wrong; and always congratulate them on a well-based argument.
Fast forward to today. We have a political system unable to accomplish a single action because they know no art of compromise. Think of all the recall elections, political confrontations, state legislatures who go AWOL and countless other meaningless actions simply because people refuse to compromise.
For example, how much has the U.S. Department of Justice and state governments spent on the voter ID issue? What if politicians meet in the middle, pay for people to be transported to an ID facility and even pay their fees if they cannot afford it?
Issue resolved, off the table, money saved and on to other issues. It might not be perfect but in the old days, we called it a win-win.
Here is a suggestion to put a different spin on it. America must be first, either as we grew up with it or for what it may evolve into. Put God, family, neighbors, friends and others next. Put politics in a distant last place, where they rightly belong.
Have a civil discussion with family, neighbors and friends, unless you or they are so polarized by what someone else told you or them that if s impossible.
If in the latter case, stick to your political agenda and forget the rest. I never would have envisioned skills and respect learned in declamation class so many years ago to be so important today and yet so forgotten by so many.