The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 19, 2012

Example of ‘reaching out’ to community

NORMAN — I want to begin by thanking Joe Ted Miller for his excellent essay on the need for all of us to reach out to one another (Transcript, Nov. 11). This has value in all aspects of life but especially in the political dimension of our society right now. We seem to have lost the ability our predecessors had: to listen to and work with people who have different values, make different assumptions and, hence, advocate different policies.

In my view, this inability to listen to one another is the underlying problem behind the gridlock we currently see in Congress. This problem begins, however, with the public, not just with our elected representatives.

We citizens need to learn how to dialogue across differences and then vote for representatives who can do the same. Because of this view, I have been making my own effort to create such dialogue and want to share one recent example.

While having breakfast with a neighbor a few weeks ago, I happened to mention that my political views can be characterized as being on the “far left.” My friend smiled and replied that his were on the “far right.” This surprised me but led me to wonder, later, what he meant by describing himself as “far right.”

But then I asked what I meant by “far left” — and surprised myself when I did not have a ready answer.

So I invited my friend to breakfast again to explore what we each meant by these self-characterizations.

The resulting discussion was wonderful. We each only tried to understand each other, not change the other’s views.

I learned about the experiences he had had that led him to be concerned about the high level of welfare expenditures and the sense of entitlement that some recipients display.

He heard my concern about various forms of social injustice, some of which are prompted by the deep desire for greater profits by large corporations, e.g. Enron, mortgage banks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014