Written by Russell Ruggiero

Sometimes it is better to take a pause and see how we, as Americans, can improve things. It starts with respect for one another and continues in the form of sensitivity. The sensitivity must be both genuine and far reaching because we, as a country, have been blessed with a kaleidoscope of people. This wonderful diversity also helps to promote the crosspollination of ideas and thoughts which enables us, as a nation, to contribute to key areas of humankind.

I recently hosted a dinner after the presidential election, and what I got was a peek into the dynamics of America. During the evening I was asked who I voted for, and what followed was quite the kicker. Comments like “How could you?” and “You’re kidding.” were spewed by the majority.

Going back to square one, I was exposed to politics in 1963 when informed by my parents that President Kennedy died. Dad was an avid follower of politics and he sat me in front of the TV to watch events leading up to 1968 presidential election. I saw Bobby Kennedy get shot on TV and when I asked my dad what was going on and he just looked at me with sorrow.

Later on, my dad and I sparred over Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. While a Republican, my dad always had kind things to say about Clinton. We Americans have made much history since Henry Hudson sailed up the river that bears his name in 1609. We have fought major powers for our freedom while participating in two world wars to champion democracy. Since the time of the Ancient Greeks, it seems like a recurring theme, democracy is worth fighting for.

Being a child of the ’60s all I had to do was turn on the TV and see people demonstrating. Some were peaceful, while others like Kent State were not. People are free to express their opinions but they must also follow laws, and violence is never warranted.

For example, if a team led by Democrats devise a brilliant plan to help improve our bridges, tunnels, highways and airports, then we should support them. Likewise, if a Republican team has a way of improving healthcare, then we should also support them. Sounds quite simple, but it is not because there are many challenges such as political lines, majority hurdles and more.

How we work together will determine the success of these important national efforts. In looking back to the Ancient Greeks, they were able to band together to not only repel many a foe, but also provide the world with advancements in science, math, and medicine. Let us not forget their most important contribution to democracy, establishing the importance of the citizen in society.

Originally posted on the Bulldog Drummond Blog.

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