We also discovered, though, that we had some important common ground. We both thought there should be a balanced budget, and we both concluded this would probably require a combination of budget cuts and increased tax revenue.
We both could see the need for curtailing some social program spending, and if there is going to be increased tax revenue, this should come primarily from those best able to afford it, i.e. the upper income group, not the middle or lower groups.
In the end, we both felt enlightened and enlarged in our political views of what this country needs. The key to this growth came, as Miller argued, from both of us being willing to listen to the other carefully and openly — without trying to stop and convince the other he was wrong.
As Miller also noted in his essay, the founders of this country had political differences just as large as ours today. The difference is they recognized that a democracy, to succeed, must have citizens and elected representatives who are able to listen, find that common ground and, as necessary, compromise.
Can we each begin that process ourselves?
L. Dee Fink, a writer and educator, lives in Norman.