Even as you are at full cry in pressing your campaign, you also need to hear your constituents’ concerns.
It is important that you recognize what is probably the gravest overarching issue we now face.
Divisiveness and polarity, arising out of the vitriolic uncivility we direct toward each other, are the most serious threats to the continued vitality of our nation and, perhaps, even the continued hospitality of our earth to life itself. Few will dispute the soundness of the strategy of ‘divide and conquer.’ Russia and others, who wish us ill, are making strenuous efforts to accomplish this. We have been helping them.
As Benjamin Franklin warned our founding fathers: “We must all hang together, or each of us will surely hang separately.”
America has often, in the past, demonstrated an unparalleled problem solving capacity. But this disrespect for others with whom we disagree prevents us from arriving at a consensus on sensible solutions to our common problems. The resources we consume in these efforts to destroy each other are not available to confront our universal challenges.
And the disadvantage which we have thus created for ourselves also extends to challenges where there is no national or organizational antagonist which is deliberately attempting to harn us. As for example, the precarious course of the environment, lack of affordable, universal,
broad medical care, good paying jobs and qualified employees to fill them and assistance to the unemployed and underemplyed during the time it takes for the jobs to actualy materialize. These are some of the areas that fall within a governor’s purview.
To be effective, a unifyier must display compassion for the less fortunate, a willingness to listen and to consider. There must be an honesty with ones own self that does not allow political dogmas to alter truth once it is clear. And perhaps most important, a decent regard for one’s own human fallability. Arrogance will get in the way. Though not commonly evident, examples set by our leaders can show the way. As, for instance, by the late John S. McCain III.
For all your toughness, I believe you have the capacity to unite and lead. Indeed, that quality has endowed you with a unique opportunity to do so. Paraphrasing a remark by former President Jimmy Carter: a strong person can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, restrained and to extend a helping hand to others.
I hope you will seize the moment, look past political tribalism and dogmas. Reach out to the other side and grasp the reins.
Best wishes to you and Tracy. And Godspeed.
HARRY L. MCNEAL, JR.
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