Our nation’s leaders could learn a lot from my four-and-a-half-year-old and her pre-kindergarten classmates. This is no exaggeration. From her wonderful teachers and from well-thought-out educational programs on TV, and from her mom and dad, the little girl has learned a lot about respect and teamwork. She and her friends don’t call each other names. For the most part, they don’t hit or push each other. They like to play together. It’s not always easy for 4- and 5-year-olds to remember to share and take turns and consider each other’s feelings. They try, though, and they’re very sweet and earnest.
Not so the people given the amazing responsibility of governing the United States, not so the extremist pundits or the vein-popping voters these supposed leaders have whipped into a frenzy. It’s all heat and no light. They call each other names. Mean, nasty names. They lie about each other. They tattle on their neighbors for supposedly committing the very violations they themselves have made. Their hatred, resentment and dishonesty are so deep that these leaders no longer lead nor govern. They issue dueling press releases, hold combative news conferences and intimidate each other, or allow themselves to be intimidated, into doing nothing.
They call for cooperation and inclusion, then slam it when it is offered.
What is at stake here?
Everything. Our very Republic. If the leaders and the citizens no longer can respect each other, cooperate, speak honestly, believe each other and engage in a little teamwork toward a common goal, nothing can hold us together.
These guys and gals need to return to kindergarten, sit in the little chairs for a few weeks, fingerpaint, build a town together with blocks and listen to the teacher. A time out is called for, so they can think about what they’ve done and what they can do better. Go to the cozy corner, friends, and get yourselves together.