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Harold Nonken Headshot

Boiling It Down: The Right and The Left

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It is common knowledge that our politics are incredibly polarized. We have the right wing! We have the left wing! But if you are a bird, and only flap your left wing -- or your right wing -- you fly in circles and go nowhere.

Think about this. If you only used your left leg, you would only be able to hop, unless, of course, you chose to crawl. Crawling in the mud is not much fun. If you only used your right hand, you would have a hard time slicing your filet mignon.

We need a middle ground. You have the left side and the right side, but we need a center. But that leads to more problems. If you had three legs, you would have to buy all new custom-made pants -- one for each of the three legs. And you would have to buy two pair of shoes at a time: one for each foot (leaving you with a spare). And consider your need for socks.

If you had a right arm, a left arm, and a center arm, you would need to purchase new custom-made shirts. We have enough financial problems now. But these special pants and shirts, shoes and socks, would create more jobs. Would American manufacturers outsource the production of these goods to foreign countries that provide cheap labor? And who would decide where you would place a pocket on a three-sleeve shirt?

I am suggesting that the right and the left work together to find a middle ground.

Some folks are increasingly intolerant of other folks. This, of course, is nothing new. Some of us, and our predecessors, have been saying "love your neighbor" for several thousand years. I don't necessarily want you to "love" the neighbor. Last Wednesday, I learned that a friend of mine was going to visit a woman I knew in Philadelphia. I asked my friend to please give her my love.

I now wonder if that was a good move. My friend has my love and she is supposed to give it to this woman. What if she doesn't do it? Will she give it to someone else? Someone I don't even know? I have just so much love in my system: it isn't endless. That's simple economics.