Righty: Hi, Lefty, how’re you?
Lefty: What’s that supposed to mean?
Righty: Nothing. Just askin’ how you are.
Lefty: Yeah, sure. Mr. Innocent, all of a sudden.
Righty: What gives, pal?
Lefty: Not you, “pal.” You don’t give.
Righty: OK, I give up.
Lefty: I am the opposite of you. That’s how I am. You don’t give an inch.
Righty: Oh, so that’s what this is all about. Can’t we just get along?
Lefty: No, we can’t. You’re on one side. I’m on the other.
Righty: Does there always have to be two sides to every thing?
Lefty: There are at least two sides to every story, my no-longer-friend.
Righty: I may not agree with you on every last thing, but we still are the same species.
Lefty: That’s pretty specious, Righty. Yes, I am people. You are people. You just are not my people.
Righty: Let’s not find reasons to draw a line between us that we can’t cross. Or even begin to smudge a little. There always is room to explore and even reconsider the opposing point of view.
Lefty: I didn’t draw the line between us. And I didn’t cross it. I stand my ground.
Righty: So do I. Why shouldn’t we? But we still can find ways to talk to each other across the line.
Lefty: I don’t see how. We both need an enemy to denounce and demean. It’s the American way.
Righty: Sure seems that way, but what ever happened to common sense?
Lefty: Common sense is not colorful.
Righty: I agree with you there, bud. Common sense lacks emotion. It’s so matter-of-fact.
Lefty: And, like Mark Twain said, facts are stubborn things.
Righty: It was John Adams, I think.
Lefty: I think, therefore I am. Who said that?
Righty: Before the horse?
Lefty: I didn’t know you had a sense of humor.
Righty: See, you pigeonhole me and people like me.
Lefty: And you stereotype me and people like me.
Righty: People actually like you?! Sorry, just cultivating my fallow sense of humor.
Lefty: Too bad that wit doesn’t rear its funny head more in your scorched-earth politics.
Righty: Politics. Now there’s an abused word. We all confuse politics with partisanship.
Lefty: I’m listening, believe it or not.
Righty: The point of politics is to exercise common sense to reach consensus for the common good. Partisanship at any cost—and without rationality—is the enemy of politics. It undermines the common good.
Lefty: Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty: I’m a lefty.
Lefty: A southpaw, eh?
Lefty: I’m a righty, natch. I not only write with my right hand. I think better with my right brain.
Righty: Right. And I write with my left hand, and my thinking favors my left brain.
Lefty: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Righty: If our righteous partisanship were more like our hands and our brains…
Lefty: … there’d be a lot more even-handed, if two-fisted, discussions about politics.
Righty: Let’s shake on it.
Lefty: OK, Righty. Extend your left hand, and I’ll extend my right.
Righty: Here’s to common ground.
Lefty: And common sense.
Bruce Apar is chief content officer of Google Partner Agency, Pinpoint Marketing & Design, as well as an actor and a regular contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce the Blog on social media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-275-6887.
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