Service of Common Ground: Can Politics Make Strange Bedfellows Again?

September 20th, 2021

Categories: Communications, Friends, Politicians, Politics

Image by Jackelberry from Pixabay

If we’re lucky, politicians will go to the dogs if we ever again hope to see senators, congressmen and women and Supreme Court justices make strange bedfellows. Some well known examples of friendships across decades of aisles include President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr.; President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner; President Clinton and the two Bush Presidents and President Biden and Senator John Kerry with Senator John McCain.

Today we are hard-pressed to name such camaraderie. But there must be points of mutual interest or passion as opera was for Supreme Court Justices RBG and Antonin Scalia to create a synapse for polar opposites that helped make civil communication, respect–and even fondness–possible.

Because of its headline, I clicked on The Wall Street Journal opinion piece “Why God Created Dogs…Pets are a reminder to balance joy and grief. A fond farewell to the world’s greatest dog.” I’d not noticed who had written the obituary–I read the digital version on an iPad and I’d jumped to the copy–so when done, I scrolled up to learn that it was former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush, Karl Rove.

Some of this Republican consultant’s political adversaries might share a similar affection for pets and the devastation of losing one. Would empathy over such a mutual love and loss possibly open, if only a crack, a calm, sensible conversation about big issues?

Are there other benign interests that might help bring together political adversaries or is this a Pollyanna idea with no future?

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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2 Responses to “Service of Common Ground: Can Politics Make Strange Bedfellows Again?”

  1. Martha Takayama Said:

    It is very hard today to imagine the incredible animosity prevalent in the relations between pro-Trump and extreme right-wing politicians and the rest of the world finding common ground through mutual interests or likes. There certainly seems to be possibilities for such civil communications or exchanges, but only between those who have rejected the pro-Trump, anti-vax, pro-insurrectionists, alternative reality handbook and otanwhile we had nher members of opposing groups. Karl Rove is such an example.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Karl Rove is on DJT’s enemies list.

    I don’t hold hope for extremists on either side to cross the aisle but at crucial moments for critical decisions for this country to survive moderates on either side must see sense. I endorse whatever lubricant it takes to make positive things happen in Congress or the Supreme Court.

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