Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Will What Happened in Tucson Really Change This Country?

The horrible events that occurred in Tucson this past Saturday has really started a discourse on how we conduct our public business and debate issues.  In the past few years, public debate is more about making political points for the next news cycle and making personal attacks instead of really trying to solve our problems.  Now it seems that violence against public servants is being used to get one's point across.  I don't think we know yet the motivation for these killings.  The killer may have some mental problems.  There may have been political motivations.  It is too early to know the reason or reasons for this horrible act.  Maybe, just maybe though, this act has made us realize that we all have gone too far in how we debate the issues of the day.  Many people are now saying we need to tone down our discussions a few notches.  I was encouraged by what President Obama, among others, said tonight at the Tucson Memorial Service.  He called for us to remember that we are all Americans and that we all love our country.  He said there are more things that unite us than divide us.  The memorial service has given me hope that we will tone down our discussions and really attack our problems together.  There was some of that bipartisanship during the last lame-duck session of Congress.  However, there have been events in the past that have united us for a time, but only for a short time.  The events of 911 are a case in point.  Despite this, I am choosing to be optimistic and believe that we will change and do a better job of working together and solving our problems.  This change will not happen overnight, and there will be setbacks.  Hopefully the events in Tucson will make us realize that what we are doing now is not working and that we must make changes in the way we debate and discuss the issues in order to get a handle on our problems.  Something has to be done, and maybe this is a start.

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